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La Educación
Número: (132-133) I,II
Año: 1999

6. How does the “Los Libertadores” initiative work?

Inspired by the famous liberators who changed the face of Latin American history, this initiative includes efforts that will culminate in the creation of a network of multidisciplinary centers of excellence to address current in-country and regional problems. In addition, these efforts will strengthen horizontal cooperation in the region. Rather than a central entity, the Centers of Excellence will provide a network of capabilities that make available the services needed to solve problems particular to the country. The resources available through such an arrangement include state of the art information and education, consulting services, computational capabilities, and worldwide access to expertise as needed. The Los Libertadores initiative calls for the creation of a comprehensive hemispheric telecommunications backbone, such as the Internet 2, the Next Generation Internet (NGI), or the vBNS backbones in the United States. A primary objective of this network will be academic enhancement and efforts in Research and Development.

Telecommunication and computer equipment is becoming more accessible and powerful every day. For this reason, it is now possible to seek solutions to more complex problems, such as climate simulation and modeling and the effects of phenomenon like El Niño. Solutions to the challenges faced by the region require powerful and costly resources that not generally available; a comprehensive computer network is needed in order to access resources like supercomputers that may be located at distant sites. The volume of electronic information today is doubled every five years, and it is estimated that by the beginning of next century it will double every 72 days. In order to effectively address issues of concern, work groups must incorporate multidisciplinary efforts that utilize collaborative and innovative technologies in real time. These efforts will be most effective if academic networks are available that can be used for economic, financial, productive, commercial, and social activities. These networks will provide a mechanism to address security issues, databases, electronic libraries, high velocity supercomputing, specialized information, exchanges, distance education, and interactive networks for other services and users.