Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

AQ Q&A: José Miguel Vivanco and Gustavo Mohme on IACHR Reform

José Miguel Vivanco, Americas Director of Human Rights Watch, and Gustavo Mohme, director of Peruvian newspaper La República, speak with Americas Quarterly about the risks of the proposed reform to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States. They explore the potential consequences and describe why it is important for … Read more


Human Rights Under Siege in the Americas

For more than 50 years, the human rights system of the Organization of American States (OAS) has served as the last line of defense for citizens facing abusive treatment throughout the hemisphere. It has mediated directly in cases of imminent risk and issued thorough reports that shine light on systemic human rights abuses. Perceived as … Read more


The Pope’s Historic Visit to Cuba

Like his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Cuba at a crucial time in the nation’s history. Pope John Paul II visited in 1998, a time when Communist Europe had crumbled and expectations of change were high; Pope Benedict XVI landed during a time of unprecedented internal change. On Monday, the pontiff arrived in a … Read more


Human Rights Violators Come in All Collars, Even White

Beheadings in Mexico. Massacres in Colombia. Such extreme manifestations of violence grab headlines and galvanize human rights activists. They often erupt when incumbent political or economic power is threatened, but are only one consequence of the fundamental failure of states to protect and defend public security—and to uphold the rule of law. The conditions for … Read more


Institutionalizing From Below

Over the past 50 years, the Inter-American human rights system has become instrumental to the evolution of democracy in the region. Gradually expanding the scope of its mandate to include everything from political rights to gender rights and the rights of vulnerable groups, the system has not only helped shape domestic policies but has also … Read more


The Right Stuff

Human rights activists and scholars are turning to a new research source in the hemisphere. In its first five years, SUR– International Journal on Human Rights has grown to become the region’s premier journal in human rights. One of its distinguishing features, according to managing editor Juana Kweitel, is its goal of fostering “dialogue between … Read more


Support Debt-for-Human Rights Swaps

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As a human rights defender who works primarily in Latin America, I am reminded every day of the region’s profoundly unjust realities: the prevalence of urban and rural violence; the disenfranchisement of the poor and the alienation of vast sectors of the citizenry from basic rights and services; the rampant levels of impunity for outrageous acts of abuse; the persistent and complex manifestations of discrimination against women; and the lack of transparency and accountability in public finances.

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Protect the Lives and Rights Of Indigenous People

Congratulations on your victory. I offer you our traditional best wishes for a good heart, good mind and good thoughts as you assume your new responsibilities. I write to you as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, the national organization representing First Nations in Canada. Canada is home to more than 800,000 First … Read more

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