WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

Race and Policing in the Time of COVID in Latin America

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. EDT Thursday, 19 November 2020

(AP Photo/Noah Berger)

In recent decades, race-related police violence in Latin America and the Caribbean has received increasing attention; such violence shows signs of having risen during the pandemic. How should this trend be understood in the context of the region’s legacies of authoritarian rule, corruption, impunity, socio-economic inequality, and racism? And how is Latin America’s experience similar or different to patterns seen in the United States in recent years?

Please join the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at Georgetown University and the Washington Office On Latin America (WOLA) in a conversation with three Afro-Latina leaders from Brazil, Colombia, and Honduras who will reflect on the realities of race and police brutality in Latin America and the Caribbean in the time of COVID-19.

Event Details:
Thursday, November 19, 2020
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EDT


Charo Mina-Rojas
Black Communities Process

 Alexandra Montgomery
Amnesty International

 Sendy Vaughn Suazo
Researcher on Garifuna and Afro-descendant communities,

Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli
Director for the Andes
The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) 

Fr. Matthew Carnes
The Georgetown University Center for Latin American Studies

Charo Mina-Rojas is a human rights activist and Afro-Colombian human rights defender with more than two decades of experience in activism at the national and international levels. As the National Coordinator of Advocacy and Outreach for the Black Communities Process (Proceso de Comunidades Negras) and a member of the Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network, she works to empower Afro-Colombian women by educating women on their rights, increasing their access to justice, and collecting accurate data on violence against Afro-Colombian women. Charo participated in Colombia’s peace negotiations. In October 2017, Charo addressed the United Nations Security Council on behalf of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security.

Alexandra Montgomery is the Programme Director for Amnesty International Brazil. She is a Brazilian human rights defender with 16 years of experience in the field of human rights. She is a specialist in strategic litigation before the Inter-American System of Human Rights and has a trajectory advocating for human rights before the Universal System. She holds a Master´s Degree in LL.M. from American University Washington College of Law. Previously, she was the Program Director for Brazil of the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and was for five years a senior attorney at Justiça Global, a Brazilian organization based in Rio de Janeiro. Ms. Montgomery coordinated the corporate accountability working group at the International Network for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net) based in New York. She was a fellow at the IACHR from 2008/2009 based in Washington, DC. In São Paulo she worked as an attorney at the Center for the Defense of the Rights of Children and was a researcher at the Center of Studies on Violence at the University of São Paulo (NEV-USP). 

Sendy Vaughn Suazo is a first-generation Afro-descendant immigrant from Honduras. At an early age, she realized that there was an inequality of opportunities for children in families like hers and dedicated her life to finding more resources for her community through community organizing, policy development, politics, and education. Through a fellowship program with the Reebok Foundation and campaign in Human Rights, at the age of 13, she traveled to Russia to receive an International Film and Video award for her film Stop the Violence and Teen Pregnancy. Sendy has worked in different mediums with Afro-descendant organizations in Honduras to support them. She created SWOT analysis profiles for international and local organizations, researched the Educational Impact of Transnationalism among Garinagu and Afro-descendants of Honduras, and other parts of Afro-Latinx diaspora. Her work on diversity, equity, and inclusion provides the underlying unspoken inequity that exists for the most marginalized people in Latin American that has not been addressed. She is currently working on a national census of the Garinagu and Afro-descendants of Latin America and the Caribbean living in the United States.

Accommodation requests related to a disability should be sent to clas@georgetown.edu by Monday, November 16. A good-faith effort will be made to fulfill requests received after this date.

A captioned version of this event will also be made available by November 23 on the CLAS Facebook Page.