Jorge Majfud, associate professor of Spanish at Jacksonville University, recently paid tribute at the United Nations in New York to acclaimed South American writer Eduardo Galeano, who passed away in April.
Majfud was invited along with other noted Latin American authors and dignitaries to honor Galeano, a leading voice of the left best known for his 1971 bestseller “Open Veins of Latin America.”
The Permanent Mission of Uruguay at the United Nations requested that Majfud, who has been hailed as one of the Top 10 current Latin American writers, speak May 26 during a panel discussion of Galeano and his work.
Majfud discussed modern utopias and their relationship to Amerindian cosmology. For his book “El eterno retorno de Quetzalcoatl,” Majfud did research on pre-Columbian mythology, repression of native culture by the Spanish conquest and the culture’s resurfacing in the 20th Century with help from intellectuals such as Galeano.
The event was organized by the Embassy of Guatemala; most Latin American ambassadors, and representatives were present and participated in a question-and-answer section.
Others taking part included Fernando Carrera, the Ambassador of Guatemala; Susana Malcorra, Chief of Staff of the U.N. Secretary General; Gonzalo Koncke, Uruguay’s Ambassador to the U.N.; María Cristina Perceval, Ambassador of Argentina; and Denis Antoine, Acting President of the General Assembly. Other panelists were Australian Ari Gaitanis, Head of the Public Information Unit at the U.N., Spanish journalist Grace Augustine and Colombian writer Norman Valencia.