Representative Ocasio-Cortez led the trip to Latin America, where she and the other congress members–Nydia Velázquez of New York, Joaquin Castro and Greg Casar of Texas, and Maxwell Frost of Florida (along with Senator Bernie Sanders’s chief of staff, Misty Rebik) met with labor organizers, a new generation of indigenous women, climate activists and a long list of human rights defenders.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez calls on US to declassify documents on Chile’s 1973 coup | AP News
With a closer look at US foreign policy debates over Latin America, CODEPINK Congress features Latin American policy experts and advocates, as well as video interviews with delegation participants.
Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY-07) recently returned from an historic congressional delegation that visited Brazil, Chile and Columbia. In Latin America, Rep. Velázquez, who represents Brooklyn, met with the Homeless Workers Movement in Brazil, President Gabriel Boric in Chile, and President Gustavo Petro and Vice President Francia Marquez Mina in Columbia. In the 116th Congress, Rep. Velázquez is the Chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee, a senior member of the Financial Services Committee and a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources. In 1992, she was the first Puerto Rican woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. She was born, 1953, in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, a small town of sugar-cane fields, and was one of nine children. After earning a master’s degree on scholarship from N.Y.U., Velázquez taught Puerto Rican studies at CUNY’s Hunter College in 1981 before being elected to Congress.
Gimena Sanchez is a human rights and antiracism advocate with the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), an independent organization that promotes human rights and justice within the framework of US foreign policy in the region, where she leads the Colombia, Brazil, and Haiti work. Currently, she is focused on beating back Republicans in the House who have deferred all aid to Colombia. For over 15 years, Gimena brought the voices of persons affected by U.S. policies in the region — Afrodescendants, indigenous, women, LGBTQ+, trade unionists, victims, and the displaced to DC. Her work focuses on dismantling illegal armed groups, advancing peace accords, and antiracism measures, protecting social leaders, seeking justice for atrocities, and upholding labor rights.