Executive and legislative interference in judicial processes is increasingly threatening the rule of law in the Americas. The Washington DC-based Fundación para el Debido Proceso (Due Process of Law Foundation—DPLF) examined the growing restriction of judicial independence throughout the region in the December 2012 issue of its publication, Aportes. Through a series of articles on Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, and Guatemala, the most recent Aportes highlights the critical role that judges and constitutional courts play in maintaining democracy, illuminates attempts by other branches of government to dilute that role, and offers recommendations to strengthen judicial independence.
Mexico is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. While physical threats have been widely reported, the vulnerability created by social media, digital tracking and other Internet tools is less well known. Criminal groups have used such tools to hack into journalists’ private accounts and monitor journalists’ movements. In its new study, Digital and Mobile Security of Mexican Journalists and Bloggers, Freedom House surveyed 102 Mexican journalists and bloggers in 20 Mexican states to determine whether they understand the risks of cyber-attacks and are aware of safeguards for their work. The report highlights the importance of digital security and the need for journalists and media companies to integrate encryption tools and software.
During the past 50 years, Cuban women have made great strides toward gender equality, yet recent setbacks in the Cuban economy threaten to undermine those gains. In Women’s Work: Gender Equality in Cuba and the Role of Women Building Cuba’s Future, The Center for Democracy in the Americas examines Cuban women’s historic gains in education, health care, economic opportunity, legal rights, and civic power. The report explores Cuban government actions that have solidified gender equality, as well as obstacles to an improved standard of living—including low productivity, high external debt and the U.S. embargo. The report calls on the U.S. government to help broaden women’s roles in Cuban politics and the economy.