maria-victoria Paredes '20 organization of american states

maria-victoria Paredes '20
organization of american states


A junior at Harvard, Maria Victoria, also known as MVP by her friends and peers, comes from Miami, Florida. An avid pet-lover with 7 dogs and 3 cats, she also boasts her own Youtube channel, where she posts videos about her experience at Harvard and across the world. When she is not working, or creating a social media footprint, she is dancing to whatever beat she can find. She speaks Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and is now learning Russian. There is nothing she values more than establishing relationships with anyone and everyone, from anywhere and everywhere. She has served as a Committee Director in the Boston-based Harvard National Model United Nations conference, as well as an Assistant Director of Operations and of Committees in previous years, Committee Director at HNMUN-Latin America, and most recently as Under-Secretary-General of Operations for HNMUN-LA. She is incredibly to dedicate herself to WorldMUN this year, and join the WorldMUN family at Harvard.

Topic: Immigrant Protection

Immigration from Latin America and the Caribbean as a category of discussion is as dense as it is complex. Levels of immigration from this region, in light of natural disasters and democratic breakdown alike, have exacerbated economic dependencies between the countries from which citizens are fleeing and the countries in which they seek refuge. Economically-motivated migrants are often cheated through exploitative labor agreements between countries that create an underpaid, easily manipulated subclass in the labor force for receiving nations. An unchecked business sector and outdated legislation take advantage of undocumented immigrant labor by consciously refusing them pathways to status while illegally propping up national economies on their unregistered labor.

The treatment of immigrants by receiving countries, which includes anything from unequal reception policies rooted in geopolitics, to racist discrepancies in temporary detention accommodations, to manslaughter from across borders, has created a humanitarian disaster overshadowed by colonial culture which paints Latin America and the Caribbean as countries which were destined to face these precise problems. Those same colonial perspectives have themselves de facto redefined the standards of evidence for asylum seekers from the region acting ‘legally’ while undermining the spirit of international guidelines for refugee treatment.

Finally, the social problems immigrants face in their home countries that motivate mass exodus are pervasive. The inaccessibility of basic education, persecution based on sexual orientation, blatant gender-based violence, and insecure states push desperate Latin-Americans out of their native countries and towards foreign ones where they face employment discrimination, racist and unconstitutional search policies, state-sponsored class subordination, and more.