The Heads of the Mercosur States spoke as one body: Free Software is at the heart of their concerns in ICT.

The Ordinary Council of the South American Common Market, (usually designated) “Mercosur", made up of the major economic powers in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, and soon Bolivia) met on 12 July 2013 in Montevideo during the 14th Annual Summit of the organisation.

Free Software featured prominently among the priorities of the day. It is actually mentioned in the Summit's Final Declaration as a key element of their regions ICT development.

The Declaration makes clear that the Heads of States are setting the promotion of Free Software use within the whole region as a policy goal. For instance, the Free Software model is praised for its benefits: “promotion of free knowledge”,“technological transfer” and technological independence with respect to large corporations in the field.

In Item 45 of the Summit's Final Declaration, the Presidents of Argentina (Cristina Fernández), Brazil (Dilma Rousseff), Bolivia (Evo Morales), Uruguay (José Mujica) and Venezuela (Nicolás Maduro) state that:

“45. They support Free Software development, which will aim to boost the development of regional solutions in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), in order to to achieve a real appropriation, promotion of free knowledge and technological transfer, thus reducing technological dependence on the solutions provided by large international corporations of this sector or businesses unwilling to respect new regional industries. They stated the need to promote the use of Free Software in the national programs for digital inclusion. They ratified the need to stimulate and favour the consolidation of norms within Mercosur for an effective implementation of policies aimed at promoting usages, research, development, implementations and technological transfer based on the model of Free Software.”1

The major powers in Latin America are thus committed toward political coordination in the development of Information and Communication Technologies, and place Free Software at the heart of their policies. April welcomes the news and hopes that the development of a Free-Software-oriented policy in Latin America will set an example to other regions in the world.

English translation done by : Thérèse, Mokor and Jeanne. April's English translation team is recruiting volunteers.