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Second Meeting of the Latin American Crystallographic Association

Mérida, Yucatán, México, October 2016

[Participants] Participants of the Second Meeting of the Latin American Crystallographic Association (LACA), Mérida, Yucatán, México, October 22-27, 2016.

A new meeting of the Latin American Crystallographic Association (LACA) took place in Mérida, Yucatán, México, October 22-27, 2016. This was LACA's second meeting after the organization was accepted as a Regional Associate of the IUCr by the General Assembly of the 23rd IUCr Congress celebrated in Montreal, Canada, in 2014. The II-LACA meeting was organized by Sociedad Mexicana de Cristalografía (SMCr) as part of the VI Mexican Synchrotron Light Users Meeting and the VIII National Congress of Crystallography of the Mexican Crystallographic Society.

The LACA organization was created at a meeting attended by representatives from Argentina, Brazil, México, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Perú, Uruguay and Venezuela, held during the IX annual meeting of the Argentinean Crystallographic Association (AACr) in 2013 at U. Nacional de Córdoba (UNC), Córdoba, Argentina. The first formal meeting of LACA was held in São Paulo, Brazil, at the Institute of Physics of the U. de São Paulo, in September 2015, in conjunction with the XII meeting of the Brazilian Crystallographic Association (ABCr).

The scientific program of II-LACA included five plenary lectures, 20 invited lectures and close to 100 poster presentations by participants from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, México, Uruguay, Venezuela and from the USA, Spain and Belgium. Miguel José Yacamán from the Physics Department of U. of Texas at San Antonio delivered the first plenary lecture.

Other invited speakers included Marvin Hackert (U. Texas at Austin, President of the IUCr and Past President of the ACA), Santiago García Granda (U. Oviedo, Spain, member of the Executive Committee of the IUCr), Amy Sarjeant (CCDC, USA, Current President of the ACA), Gabriela Aurelio (CAB-CNEA, Argentina), Aldo Craievich (U. São Paulo, Brazil), Miguel Delgado and Graciela Delgado (U. Los Andes, Venezuela), Márcia Fantini (U. São Paulo, Brazil), Diego G. Lamas (U. San Martín, Argentina), Stavros Nicolopoulos (Nanomegas, Belgium), Bruce Noll (Bruker, USA), Oscar Piro (U. La Plata, Argentina) and Iris Torriani (U. Campinas, Brazil). Several distinguished Mexican scientists were also invited speakers, among them Otilio Acevedo Sandoval (UAEH, Hidalgo), Gerardo Aguirre (IT-Tijuana), Sylvain Bernés (IF-BUAP, Puebla), Luis Fuentes Cobas (CIMAV, Chihuahua), Mayra Cuéllar Cruz (U. de Guanajuato, León), Gonzalo González (IIM-UNAM, México City), Erick A. Juárez Arellano (U. del Papaloapan, Oaxaca), Rufino Lozano Santacruz (IG-UNAM, México City), Abel Moreno Cárcamo (IQ, UNAM, México City), María Elena Montero Cabrera (CIMAV, Chihuahua), Teresa Pi Puig (IG-UNAM, México City) and Guadalupe de la Rosa Alvarez (U. de Guanajuato, León).

In keeping with the tradition and format of the SMCr events, six workshops and courses on different crystallographic topics took place October 22-23 at the Mérida Unit of CINVESTAV. They were: 'Crystallography Databases: I. Introduction to CSD-Enterprise and II. The ICDD's Powder Diffraction File', a workshop led by Amy Sarjeant and Paul Sanschagrin (CCDC), Thomas Blanton (ICDD), Graciela Díaz de Delgado and Miguel Delgado (ULA); 'Synchrotron Crystallography', coordinated by Abel Moreno Cárcamo (IQ, UNAM, México City); 'Physical Properties of Crystals', taught by Jacques Soullard Saintrais (IF-UNAM, México City); a 'Crystal Growth' course run by Héctor Riveros Rotge (IF-UNAM, México City); and 'Basic Crystallography' and 'Roentgen Crystallography' courses, for which the instructors were Alfredo G—ómez Rodríguez (IF-UNAM, México City) and Rubén Alfredo Toscano (IQ-UNAM, México City), respectively. Graduate students and young scientists participated in these courses.

Three poster sessions were held in the exhibition hall, along with an equipment and software display from manufacturers including Bruker (Bruker Mexicana, S.A.), Micra-Nanotecnología/Nanomegas, PANalytical (PANalytical México), Rigaku (Martek, S.A.), Stoe-Inel (Spectramex, S.A.), Thermo Scientific (Falcón/División Analítica), Alta Tecnología de Laboratorios, S.A., and the International Centre for Diffraction Data (ICDD). In each poster session, the two best posters presented by students were selected. A certificate and a piece of Mexican artisanry were presented to each winner at the farewell dinner. The IUCr and ICDD provided funds to cover the travel and accommodation expenses for about 20 students.

Patricia Quintana Owen (CINVESTAV-Unidad Mérida, IPN) and Rudy Almicar Trejo Tzab (U. Autónoma de Yucatán) for the Local Committee, the National Committee headed by José Reyes Gasga (IF-UNAM), Lauro Bucio Galindo (IF-UNAM), Jesús Ángel Arenas Alatorre (IF-UNAM) and Gustavo Tavizón Alvarado (FQ-UNAM), and the support team headed by Gabriela García Rosales, Secretary of SMCr, did a superb job in the organization of all the aspects of these events.

The General Assembly of LACA met during the event to discuss the status and progress of the organization and to elect a new Executive Board. The members elected are Diego G. Lamas (President, Argentina), José Reyes-Gasga (Vice-President, México), Graciela Díaz de Delgado (Secretary, Venezuela) and Iris Torriani (Treasurer, Brazil). An Adjunct Secretary of the board (José Vega Baudrit, Costa Rica) was elected after consulting the national crystallographic organizations.

Since the 24th Congress and General Assembly of the IUCr will take place in Hyderabad, India, in 2017, the next meeting of LACA is scheduled for 2018 in Valparaíso, Chile, organized by Mauricio Fuentealba (Pontificia U. Católica de Valparaíso, Chile). The venue for the 2019 LACA is under consideration. Colombia is a strong candidate, with José Antonio Henao as the organizer.

Excerpted from the article CristAL Crystallography News from Latin America by Graciela Díaz de Delgado, ACA RefleXions, Spring 2017, pp. 7-9