The leaders of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Venezuela and Bolivia gathered in Montevideo recently. One topic of discussion: the development of free software and the importance of its promotion in national programs that strengthen digital inclusion.
The group set out a 59-point declaration, signed by presidents Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (Argentina), Dilma Rousseff (Brazil), José Mujica (Uruguay), Nicolás Maduro (Venezuela) and Evo Morales (Bolivia), the latter brought in by special invitation.
The declaration expresses a need to fortify and promote free software. It focuses on digital inclusion programs, such as Argentina’s Conectar Igualdad (Connecting Equality), attached to operating system Huayra/Linux.
One of the articles within the document explains why the Mercosur have turned their attention to the issue of free software:
This will enhance the regional development of information and communications technology (ICT) solutions, thus achieving true ownership and promotion of free knowledge and technology transfer. This will reduce dependence on transnational solutions within the sector and on companies that are unwilling to respect the region’s growing industries.
The declaration also manifested the necessity for concrete norms across all Mercosur countries. Such guidelines would result in the implementation of policies that encourage use, development, implementation, research and technological transfer in the free software arena.
The leaders recognized that the development of ICT technologies is essential for both socio-economic and cultural progress in their respective nations. As such, they emphasized the urgency of the massification of broadband as well as improvements to infrastructure.
Original source, featured image.