The IPA’s Educational Publishers Forum (EPF) established a regional extension in Latin America in 2015 and for the past four years, the Chair has been Chilean publisher Jorge Muñoz Rau. On Sunday 28 November, Muñoz formally handed over responsibility for chairing the group to the Brazilian educational publisher Eduardo Kruel Rodrigues. A well-attended meeting heard from all participants that there is an urgent need for a coordinated international approach to the challenges currently facing educational publishers in Latin America.

In a dynamic exchange of experiences from Chile to Paraguay, and Argentina to Colombia, participants called for more research to establish the differences and the convergences between the ways that education was organized by the various regimes in the region, especially with regard to the important part that government education ministries play. It was agreed that most Latin American governments did not treat educational publishers as primary stakeholders in the nation-building task of providing education to their people. Participants expressed frustration at the continuing lack of appreciation of their efforts, skills and expertise.

The persistent issue of piracy (both hard copy and digital) as well as doubts about digitization in general were raised as continuing issues of concern.

The new LatAm EPF Chair, Rodrigues, will now consult with EPF Chair, Stephan de Valk, and his colleagues in the broader EPF before planning a broad strategy for the next few years of work starting in 2022. It will be an exciting time for the regional EPF starting.