It is with great sorrow that we must inform you that Carlo Tassara passed away yesterday in Bogotà. He was one of the founders of CISP, which he directed from 1994 to 2005, and a current member of the executive board.
A fine expert on Latin America, he taught in several Latin American and Italian universities and signed many publications, in particular about Euro-Latin American relations.
He trained many cooperation workers, was an exceptional professional, a passionate teacher and mentor of his students, who appreciated and loved him.
All of us, friends and colleagues of CISP, will miss him very much.
We share the sorrow of his wife Yolanda, his son Dario, and his mother Fernanda.
On December 26th, we lost Carlo Tassara. Carlo was a founder of CISP. He was a protagonist of its conception, from the drafting of the Constitutive Act to the writing of the first Statute, which led to the birth of the organisation on 10 January 1983.
CISP was born from the ambition of a group of young people capable of imagining a life off the beaten path, with the dream of building a shared way for world change.
Carlo has spent most of his personal and professional life following that goal. First as CISP deputy director from 1983 to 1995, then as Director and legal representative from 1996 to 2005. As director he gave a crucial impetus to the activities of the organisation, also systematising its organizational structure and, therefore, making it grow.
At the beginning of the 90s, he participated in the Development Cooperation Training School of Pantalla, the first experience of this kind in Italy, and at the birth of the Master in Development Cooperation of Pavia, prefiguring what would have been another of his passions, university teaching and the training of young people in Italy and Colombia.
With his distinctive ability to capitalize, starting from these experiences, he then built countless similar training courses and drafted manuals in Italy and abroad.
We could go on and on describing all the things that Carlo did at CISP, but it seems more important to us to talk about what is Carlo’s heritage in the organisation and in his way of seeing the world.
Carlo was famous for his professional precision and for his ability to analyse and structure processes. And this was related to the idea that good intentions are not enough to deal with development and to try to promote the improvement of people's living conditions. It also takes commitment and attention to the quality of what we do.
For Carlo, situations must be analysed with rigour, not in an impressionistic way, but with all the effort required to understand the realities and contexts in which we intervene.
Another thing that Carlo was famous for was his attention to memory, documentation and keeping track of processes. For Carlo it was crucial to be able to define our choices in a structured way and to explain and justify our decisions.
The ability to systematically know any chosen topic and his precision in everything were proverbial.
These things have remained in those who worked with Carlo or trained by Carlo. Yet they cannot be separated from the memory of his light heart, the sense of humor and the self-irony with which he faced life.
We are convinced that in CISP these values will remain and that the new generations of people committed to development will maintain this commitment and precisely this rigour full of lightness that he has brought into our history.