Visiting Scholars Program Lecture Series: The Struggle of Border Farm Workers Against Capital

This event has passed.

Sewell Social Science, Room 8108 & Online via Zoon
@ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

This is a hybrid in-person and online event. If you would like to attend online, you must register in advance.


This event is presented in collaboration with the Chican@ & Latin@ Studies (CLS) program, the Economic Sociology Colloquium, the Latin American, Caribbean & Iberian Studies (LACIS) program, the School for Workers at UW-Madison, and the South Central Federation of Labor (SCFL).

A man looks confidently into the camera. His arms are crossed in front of his chest. His short, black hair is peppered by shades of white and gray. His mustache and beard, featuring similar coloring, is worn close to his face. His eyeglasses, in a silver metallic tone, feature rectangular lenses. He wears an unzipped black woven athleisure jacket with a stand-up collar. A vertical pocket seam with a black-and-white woven pull cord is seen on his left chest. Beneath the jacket, he wears a bright white t-shirt with a black-ringed color, which features the black-and-white image of Karl Marx. He stands before a brown-gray backdrop.Carlos Marentes has been a labor organizer and farm worker advocate since 1977. In 1983, he founded the Sin Fronteras Organizing Project to support efforts to improve the working and living conditions of migrant and seasonal farm workers of southern New Mexico and Far West Texas. Marentes is also the founder and director of the Border Agricultural Workers Project (BAWP), an effort to organize the farm workers of the US-Mexico border, especially the chile pickers, in the fields and in their communities on both sides of the border. Under the BAWP, Marentes initiated a campaign in the border region for food sovereignty to address the issues of oppression of farm workers and the climate crisis, as a way of promoting a new model of food production and food consumption. He also created the Bracero Project – an attempt to rebuild the history of the “braceros” – to bring justice to the Mexican peasants who worked in the US during the Bracero Program (1942-1964), and to use the experience of the Bracero Program to push for more humane and dignified immigration policies. He participates in many local, state, and national organizations that deal with issues of poverty and economic inequality, and he coordinates the International Committee on Migration and Rural Workers of La Vía Campesina and has attended many conferences and workshops in U.S. as well as in Mexico, Europe, India, South Africa and Southeast Asia, to advocate for migrant workers’ rights. Marentes has received extensive recognition and many awards, including the prestigious Letelier-Moffitt National Human Rights Award.


Carlos Marentes ha sido organizador laboral y defensor de los trabajadores agrícolas desde 1977. En 1983, fundó el Proyecto Organizativo Sin Fronteras para apoyar los esfuerzos para mejorar las condiciones laborales y de vida de los trabajadores agrícolas migrantes y temporales del Sur de Nuevo México y el Lejano Oeste de Texas. Marentes también es el fundador y director del Proyecto de Trabajadores Agrícolas Fronterizos (BAWP), un esfuerzo para organizar a los trabajadores agrícolas de la frontera entre Estados Unidos y México, especialmente a los pizcadores de chile, en los campos y en sus comunidades en ambos lados de la frontera. Bajo el BAWP, Marentes inició una campaña en la región fronteriza por la soberanía alimentaria para abordar los problemas de opresión de los trabajadores agrícolas y la crisis climática, como una forma de promover un nuevo modelo de producción y consumo de alimentos y confrontar el modelo devastador de la agricultura comercial-industrial. Otro esfuerzo iniciado por Marentes bajo el BAWP, es el Proyecto Bracero, para intentar reconstruir la historia de los “braceros”, con el fin de hacer justicia a los campesinos mexicanos que trabajaron en Estados Unidos durante el Programa Bracero, de 1942 a 1964, así como utilizar la experiencia del Programa Bracero para impulsar nuevas políticas migratorias más humanas y dignas. Participa en muchas organizaciones locales, estatales y nacionales que tratan temas de pobreza y desigualdad económica, y coordina el Comité Internacional sobre Migración y Trabajadores Rurales de La Vía Campesina y ha asistido a muchas conferencias y talleres en Estados Unidos, así como en México, Europa, India, Sudáfrica y el Sudeste Asiático, para abogar por los derechos de los trabajadores migrantes. Marentes ha recibido un amplio reconocimiento y muchos premios, incluido el prestigioso Premio Nacional de Derechos Humanos Letelier-Moffitt