On December 4, 2015, St. Thomas Law professors Marcia Narine and Lauren Gilbert spoke at the one-day Workshop, From Extraction to Emancipation: Re-imagining Development for Guatemala.
The workshop, held at the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California, was part of a larger project to use Guatemala as a case study on corporate social responsibility and sustainable development.
In July 2015, Professor Narine was part of a small delegation of law professors, lawyers and law students from the United States and Canada who traveled to Guatemala to study how these issues played out on the ground. Professor Narine gave the opening address, Corporate Social Responsibility in Guatemala: A Framework. Her presentation framed the entire workshop, which focused on whether it was possible to achieve sustainable development in Guatemala through greater corporate social responsibility (CSR). Professor Narine looked at the role that CSR has played in achieving legal and social legitimacy for foreign investors. Using Guatemala as a case study, she demonstrated how CSR Reports, which are distributed to stakeholders, may not reflect the actual situation on the ground.
Professor Gilbert’s gave the final presentation on Gender Violence as a Tool of Power and Control in the Northern Triangle, focusing on the roots of the refugee crisis in Central America, the role of Truth Commissions in confronting impunity, and the role that gender has played in the subordination of ethnic groups by the Guatemalan State. Professor Narine’s and Professor Gilbert’s papers are part of a larger book project, which will bear the title of the workshop.