"Latin America seems like it's a world away, but use of
free/libre and open-source software (FLOSS) there is growing much
like it is in South Asia and, arguably, better. Recently, a study
of FLOSS in Latin America pointed to the contribution of GNOME
(started in 1997 by Mexican developer Miguel de Icaza), Brazil's
Sourceforge-like Codigolivre.org.br portal site, the simple UTUTO
distribution from Argentina and the popular PHP-Nuke content
management system from Francisco Burzi of Venezuela.
"Latin America, specifically Peru, also has challenged the role
of proprietary software and Microsoft. In addition, Brazil has come
up with interesting university-based software solutions. For
instance, the Brazilian UNIVATES says it has saved about $130,000
USD by not acquiring copies of proprietary software for servers and
desktops. It saves $70,000 USD each year on software upgrades and
maintenance--enough to pay the salaries of the development group.
Therefore, UNIVATES can produce effective technology for its own
use, which others also can make use of, at virtually no cost.
"To understand the larger canvas of the Free Software scene in
Latin America, I spoke to Cesar Brod, the vice-president of the
Brazilian free software cooperative SOLIS (Cooperativa de Solucoes
Livres). More importantly, he coordinated the Latin American leg of
a recent Finnish study on the significance of free/libre and
open-source software for developing countries..."