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Civil society organizations from 18 countries condemn the manipulation of the so-called 'social forum' of the Seventh Summit of the Americas in Panama last week.

PANAMA CITY, Panama, April 16, 2015 ( — Civil society organizations from 18 countries condemned the manipulation of the so-called 'social forum' of the Seventh Summit of the Americas that took place in Panama last week. In a joint statement released last week the groups strongly condemned the efforts to silence those who defend democracy, the right to life, family, and especially religious freedom.

Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of the Latino Partnership of the American Principles Project, speaking on behalf of the organizations, reported to the press that a wide network of organizations with strong ideological missions, ranging from radical leftist groups to gay and lesbian groups, had collaborated to marginalize the voice of organizations that actually represent the civil society of Latin America in order to impose a 'progressive' agenda.

This agenda includes the recognition of abortion as human 'right', the implementation of guidelines for education from a gender ideology perspective, the promotion of same-sex 'marriage', the creation of special 'rights' for gay minorities while arguing for 'fairness', the decriminalization of the drug trade, and the limitation of certain civil liberties.

This network, superficially pluralistic, but well articulated, counted with support and special treatment inside the organizing committees. As reported by Aguilar, from April 8-10, during the Forum of Civil Society and Social Actors of the Summit, there were serious irregularities ranging from selective refusal to accredit certain groups to a great deal of arbitrariness in the procedure followed in the discussions.

“Many pro-life and pro-family organizations, in fact, were excluded, while the organizers made special arrangement for leftist organizations from Cuba and sought out groups that promote a radical agenda in favor of abortion and so-called LGBT rights.  This resulted in their over-represented in each of the thematic forums.”

The Forum of Civil Society and Social Actors, was intended for the society at large to be able to make recommendations to the Heads of State and other official participants of the Summit of the Americas Government, whose seventh edition took place last Friday and Saturday.

Usually the 'Social Forum' are used by a very active set of minority organizations in order to exert pressure in favor of an agenda focused on gender ideology and also favorable to the legalization of abortion. Such entities participate in the thematic discussion groups and collaborate – often with the help of officials of the Organization of the American States (OAS) – to incorporate their demands in the final statements of each forum.

The final declarations of the discussion groups (health, education, energy, environment and sustainable development, migration and security, citizen participation and democratic governance) contain recommendations that are presented to the leaders. In this way, these groups manage to give the appearance that the group's demands are the demands of the whole of society.

Although the activism of these groups has been relentless and intense in the previous years, the procedures for discussion and dialogue were mostly respected, and even had a certain balance in terms of the plurality of civic associations represented, said the Brazilian Guilherme Ferreira, who was at the Summit representing the CitizenGo public platform.

“Not this year. The 'ideological network' was a very large majority, on account of the preference given to them from the registration process.  The ‘progressives’ were able to place their own as coordinators of the thematic working groups, as editors of the final declaration of each team and systematically and inhibited dialogue in an authoritarian fashion,” he said.

The result was that all the contributions of the 'civil society' to the leaders of the region have a clear ideological bias. For Aguilar “it is clear that the goal has been to ensure that the conclusions of the working groups of the forums are biased in favor of particular policies favored by LGBT groups and abortion extremists.”

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Where they failed to control the working groups, they attempted sabotage them with shouting, deception, and even violence, as was the case of the forums that addressed the issues of citizen participation and democratic governance. Unable to prevail, 70 Cuban delegates left those two forums and then rejected the approved texts.

In the forums dealing with Health and Education the “progressives” systematically blocked the participants that did not agree with their gender ideology. However, some of the family and life representatives did manage to narrow some of the more radical recommendations. “Although we can not say that the recommendations of the working groups were fully objective and balanced, we were able to make significant progress in that direction,” said Aguilar.

The Mexican Neydy Casillas, who was present representing Alliance Defending Freedom, stressed that the manipulation that has been taking place at the Summit of the Americas is a “new form of ideological dictatorship” trying to eliminate the cultural values of the Latin American peoples. “This is a paradox considering that the OAS was born to neutralize the threat of political dictatorships,” she said.

The joint statement from these organizations states that the majority views were in fact not represented, much of the continent's population “had no voice”; and warns that “to the extent that these forums were not truly representative of civil society in our countries, the meeting with the presidents and government representatives that followed appear to be a farce.”

The statement also underlines that the “recommendations that government leaders will hear will not represent the true feelings of the people of Latin America, nor are they the products of a true consensus; they are, nothing more and nothing less, than the opinion of some stakeholders and of social liberals.”

This article is also available in Spanish and Portuguese at LifeSiteNews’ Latin American website