SALSA’s primary mission is to support research on lowland South America, and to promote public knowledge of this region and its astonishingly rich cultural, linguistic, and biological diversity. However many of the peoples and environments we study are imperiled, and we encourage public attention and action to address injustices, harmful policies, and human rights violations. As home to the world’s largest tropical forest, which sequesters 20% of global atmospheric carbon, the consequences of what happens in this region extend far beyond South America.
Thus it is sometimes relevant for SALSA to take a public stand, as it has in the past (see below), in order to bring the full weight of the organization to bear on important issues. To this end, SALSA President Jonathan Hill created the Public Issues and Action Committee (PIAC) in 2014.
Terms regarding the constitution of the committee and length of term of its members are still being developed. Currently, the committee consists of the following SALSA members:
Carlos D. Londoño Sulkin, Chair
Laura R. Graham
SALSA members who wish to propose a public action should read the following Procedures for Advocacy and Policy Statements and address their proposal to the chair of the Public Issues and Action Committee, Carlos Londoño Sulkin, or the president of SALSA, Jonathan Hill.
Below are previous statements of position taken by the organization:
SALSA Statement on the Twin Ocean Railroad, 26 June 2015:
The Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America (SALSA) is an international professional association for anthropologists specializing in lowland regions of South America. SALSA’s main goals are to foster sound and ethical research on the peoples and environments of lowland South America, and to promote the education of students and the general public on issues that we study. For the organization, the well-being of lowland South America’s vulnerable peoples is of central concern. As anthropologists and regional specialists, we insist on accuracy in scientific research, integrity in interpretation, and defense against misuse of academic writings. We support the efforts of indigenous leaders, organizations, and fellow scholars who focus the spotlight of public attention on the realities of life for native people in lowland South America and elsewhere, in their struggles to secure the rights and resources they need to survive and thrive as indigenous citizens of the 21st century. Read Full Statement…
SALSA Letter on the Precarious Situation of the Mashco-Piro, 14 October 2014:
SALSA Statements on the Belo Monte Dam Project, 26 September 2011 :
2011 letter of protest against the Belo Monte dam in Brazil, sent to President Dilma Rousseff, September 26 [English translation]
2011 carta de protesto contra a barragem de Belo Monte, enviada à Presidente Dilma Rousseff, 26 de setembro [original]
2011 carta de protesta contra la represa de Belo Monte, enviada a la Presidente Dilma Rousseff, 26 de septiembre [traducción Español]
2010 Statement supporting the position of ABA (Asociação Brasileira de Antropologia) [Portuguese, English, Spanish]
SALSA Statement on ethical commitments / Afirmação sobre compromissos éticos / Declaración sobre compromisos éticos, March 2013:
The board of the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America (SALSA) reaffirms this core ethical principle: that the well-being of Amazonia’s vulnerable peoples must be of central concern. As anthropologists and Amazonian specialists, we insist on accuracy in scientific research, integrity in interpretation, and defense against misuse of academic writings. More…