Americas Quarterly is proud to congratulate Nicolas Villaume, a frequent contributing photographer to AQ, for his selection by American Illustration and American Photography (AI-AP) as a chosen winner of the 2012 Latin American Fotografía and Ilustración competition.
More than 30 prominent international law centers will convene on Monday, October 15 at American University’s Washington College of Law to debate the future of the Inter-American Human Rights System. The day-long conference is intended to address the needs and challenges of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) in light of increased criticism that the institutions, both autonomous branches of the Organization of American States (OAS), are in dire need of reform.
In early September, the Venezuelan government officially informed OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza that it was renouncing the American Convention on Human Rights and would begin the process of pulling out of the regional human rights pact. Within a year, Venezuela will no longer be part of the regional human rights bodies. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who was re-elected for a fourth term on Sunday, has recently accused the international bodies of campaigning against his government and “supporting terrorism.” Amnesty International criticized the Venezuelan government’s decision to withdraw from the Inter-American Human Rights System, a decision that critics have said would violate the country’s constitution and weaken human rights protections in the region.
In an article for CNN published on October 9, Christopher Sabatini, Editor-in-Chief of Americas Quarterly and Senior Director of Policy at Americas Society/Council of the Americas, analyzes the road ahead for the Venezuelan opposition following President Hugo Chávez' re-election.
Jason Marczak, Senior Editor of Americas Quarterly and Director of Policy at Americas Society/Council of the Americas, and Andreina Seijas, a regular contributor to Americas Quarterly who works in the policy department at Americas Society/Council of the Americas, examine the results of the Venezuelan presidential elections in an article for El Diario published on October 9.
Jason Marczak and Andreina Seijas
Con el 55.0% de los votos, este domingo Hugo Chávez ganó su cuarta reelección, extendiendo su plazo presidencial hasta el 2019 si su salud lo permite. El candidato de la Mesa de la Unidad Democrática, Henrique Capriles, recibió el 44.4% del apoyo popular.
Pero esta vez la reelección del mandatario no significa una derrota total para la oposición. Chávez ganó con una ventaja de 20% o más en elecciones anteriores. Esta vez la oposición estuvo tan solo a casi 10% de alcanzar la victoria, una diferencia de aproximadamente un millón y medio de votos.
Esta elección presentó dos visiones distintas para el país: Chávez prometió la expansión de su revolución bolivariana; y Capriles prometió una dirección diferente y más parecida al modelo brasileño de inversión social a la par de crecimiento económico y reinserción en la economía mundial.
La elevada participation en esta elección (81%) muestra que los venezolanos aún creen en la posibilidad de un cambio. Sí, Chávez ganó, pero lo hizo usando todos los recursos del estado-el aparato mediático para divulgar su mensaje, la renta petrolera para financiar sus programas sociales, y la amenaza del despido para todo aquel empleado público que no apoye su gestión. Los 6.4 millones de personas que votaron por Capriles, lo hicieron por una visión y un proyecto ajenos al abuso de los poderes del Estado.
Read the rest of the article here.
Prominent dissident Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez was freed at 10:45 am (local) on Saturday morning after being arrested by authorities in the eastern city of Bayamo at 6:00 pm (local) on Thursday. Sánchez was in Bayamo from Havana to attend the trial of Angel Carromero, the Spanish activist accused of vehicular manslaughter against longtime Cuban dissenter and Varela Project founder Oswaldo Payá in July. Many critics of the Cuban regime question the government’s official account of Payá’s death, including Payá’s daughter.
Sánchez, author of the Generación Y blog, filed a complaint with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights last week against Cuba for denying her and her husband’s repeated requests to leave the country—and presented evidence that they had been harangued by Cuban authorities, according to Sánchez’ lawyer. While detained, she refused to eat or drink.
Yohandry, a pro-government blog, was one of the first to report Sánchez’ arrest, adding that “she had traveled [to Bayamo] with the intention of creating a provocation and a media show.”
The arbitrary detention follows a similar incident from July when Guillermo Fariñas, a Cuban dissident and 2010 Sakharov Prize recipient, was detained with six other dissenters at Payá’s funeral at the San Salvador Catholic Church in Havana.
On the eve of Venezuela's highly-contested presidential elections, Christopher Sabatini, Editor-in-Chief of Americas Quarterly and Senior Director of Policy at Americas Society/Council of the Americas, and Ryan Berger, Associate Editor of Americas Quarterly and Policy Associate at Americas Society/Council of the Americas, discuss in an article published on October 6 in O Estado de São Paulo how the results of Sunday's elections will impact Venezuela's relations with other countries.
Christopher Sabatini and Ryan Berger
In an article published on October 4 in Venezuela's El Nacional, Christopher Sabatini, Editor-in-Chief of Americas Quarterly and Senior Director of Policy at Americas Society/Council of the Americas, and Ryan Berger, Associate Editor of Americas Quarterly and Policy Associate at Americas Society/Council of the Americas, discuss the unwillingness of the international community—particularly through South American alliances—to seriously monitor the Venezuelan election in the face of a lopsided campaign that saw the incumbent abuse state resources and public services to curry electoral favor.
The fifth annual Social Enterprise World Forum will kick off in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on October 16. This is the first year that a Latin American country will host the two-day conference, which, according to its website, “is the premiere global event focused exclusively on social enterprise and on building global awareness of the effectiveness of social enterprise in solving critical social problems.” Delegates from over 30 countries are expected to participate.
Forum participants will have the option to participate in site visits to social enterprise projects around Rio de Janeiro, including Projeto Rio Ecosol, a project by Rio’s municipal government to promote entrepreneurship and support small businesses in four of the city’s favelas, and the Vale Encantado Cooperative, a grassroots eco-tourism project meant to revitalize and protect Rio’s fragile Tijuca Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Participants are also invited to attend free training workshops and to network with corporate and governmental leaders during an “Investor Day” on October 16. On October 17, Michelle Bachelet—executive director of UN Women and former president of Chile—will present the Women in Social Enterprise (WISE) Award at a special gala celebration. Ms. Bachelet also wrote about the economic empowerment of women in the Summer AQ.
Mexican President Felipe Calderón today inaugurates the first International Conference against Transnational Organized Crime. The Mexican president, who will leave office on December 1, when President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto is inaugurated, has defended his use of Mexican security forces to combat criminal organizations since December 2006.
After 13 years in office, President Hugo Chávez is seeking re-election. He faces perhaps his strongest contender yet, Henrique Capriles Radonski, the 39-year-old candidate of the opposition’s Democratic Unity coalition and former governor of Miranda state. At the same time, questions remain about the president’s health and the evenness of the electoral playing field.
June 1: This AQ-Efecto Naím segment looks at sustainable cities in the hemisphere.