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: CIARP 2003 (8th Iberoamerican Congress on Pattern Recognition) was the eighth event in a series of pioneering congresses on pattern recognition in the Latin American c- munity of countries. This year, however, the forum was extended to include worldwide participation. The event has been held in the past in Mexico, Cuba, Brazil and Por- gal; it took place this year in Havana (Cuba). The aim of the congress was to promote and disseminate ongoing research into mathematical methods for pattern recognition, computer vision, image analysis, and speech recognition, as well as the application of these techniques in such diverse areas as robotics, industry, health, entertainment, space exploration, telecommunications, data mining, document analysis, and natural language processing and recognition to name a few. Moreover it was a forum for scienti?c re- arch, experience exchange, the sharing of new knowledge, and establishing contacts to improve cooperation between research groups in pattern recognition, computer vision and related areas. The congress was organized by the Institute of Cybernetics, Mathematics and P- sics of Cuba (ICIMAF) and the Center for Computing Research (CIC) of the National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico, and was sponsored by the University of La Salle, - xico, the University of Oriente, Cuba, the Polytechnic Institute âJose Â´ A.