The **Latin American Congress of Probability and Mathematical Statistics**, or **Congreso Latinoamericano de Probabilidad y Estadística Matemática**, in Spanish, had its inception in the 28th Annual Convention of the Venezuelan Association for the Advancement of Science, organized in 1978.

An invited speaker to that Convention, Klaus Krickeberg, at that time President of the Bernoulli Society, proposed to the Venezuelan colleagues the formation of a Latin American branch of the Bernoulli Society. Two years later, the Simón Bolívar University celebrated its 10th Anniversary with a series of Symposia that included one devoted to Probability and Mathematical Statistics. Thanks to Enrique Cabaña and Mario Wschebor, both from the Simón Bolívar University, and José León of the Central University of Venezuela, the United Nations Development Program supported the Probability and Mathematical Statistics Symposium. It allowed the assembly of an important number of Statisticians and Probabilists from Latin America.

That was the outline for the constitution of the regional Bernoulli Society's branch:* the Latin American Society of Probability and Mathematical Statistics, or Sociedad Latinoamericana de Probabilidad y Estadística Matemática, (SLAPEM).* Among its founders, it was natural to think of the Society as the means for exchange, collaboration and cooperation between Latin American probabilists and mathematical statisticians, leading to the general agreement that the SLAPEM should have a regular congress: the **Congreso Latinoamericano de Probablidad y Estadística Matemática (CLAPEM), or Latin American Congress on Probability and Mathematical Statistics.**

The Probability and Mathematical Statistics Symposium that took place for Simón Bolivar University's Anniversary was to be considered the first CLAPEM. Since then, 14 editions of the Congress have taken place in ten different countries of Latin America: Venezuela, Uruguay, México, Argentina, Chile, Perú, Colombia, Cuba and Brasil.

Nowadays, **CLAPEM** is considered the most important meeting in Probability and Mathematical Statistics for scientists in Latin America, and many names can be associated with its history: of course Enrique Cabaña and Mario Wschebor; Federico O'Reilly, Víctor Yohay, Luis Gorostiza, Pablo Ferrari, Xavier Guyon, Joaquín Ortega, Andrea Rodnitzky and Ernesto Mordecki, among many others.

The **CLAPEM** has also proved to be an important event for the promotion and growth of the fields of Probability and Mathematical Statistics in our Continent, because of the participation of lecturers and keynote speakers from all over the world, such as Professor Krickeberg himself, Tom Kurtz and Xavier Guyon. On the other hand, CLAPEM has received many young researchers and graduate students, promoting Probability and Statistics among the national communities in the countries where it has taken place.

The **XV CLAPEM** will take place in December 2019 in the City of Mérida, in the Mexican state of Yucatán. Read about this attractive and historically relevant city in the VENUE section.

Previous CLAPEMs:

Caracas, Venezuela, 1980

Caracas, Venezuela, 1985

Montevideo, Uruguay, 1988

Ciudad de México, México, 1990

Sao Pablo, Brasil, 1993

Viña del Mar, Chile, 1995

Córdoba, Argentina, 1998

La Habana, Cuba, 2001

Punta del Este, Uruguay, 2004

Lima, Perú, 2007

Naiguata, Venezuela, 2009

Viña del Mar, Chile, 2012

Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, 2015

San José, Costa Rica, 2017

This text was based on information by Enrique Cabaña, Pablo Ferrari, Ernesto Mordecki, Federico O'Reilly, Joaquín Ortega and Mario Wschebor (September, 2003) at http://www.cmat.edu.uy/~mordecki/historia-clapems/