The Washington Office on Latin America launched a four-part series that examines the Trump administration’s profound impact on human rights and democracy throughout Latin America—and imagines alternative, human rights-respecting approaches to U.S. foreign policy. Bringing together experts from all over the region, the weekly series began with an event on how President Trump’s foreign policy has bolstered authoritarian leaders in the region.
The Trump Administration and how Latin America’s Next Generation of Authoritarian Leaders are Consolidating Power
On July 22, 2020, WOLA launched the first panel of the series examining how the Trump administration has emboldened the next generation of autocratic leaders in Latin America to consolidate power. The panel featured Camila Asano from Conectas Direitos Humanos (Brazil), Noah Bullock from Cristosal (El Salvador), WOLA Senior Fellow David Smilde, and WOLA Director for the Andes Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli. Opening remarks by the President of WOLA, Geoff Thale.
Rising Corruption and Undermining the Rule of Law in Latin America
On July 29, 2020, WOLA hosted the second panel in this series and examined how the Trump administration has emboldened political leaders and their allies to dismantle anti-corruption institutions and weaken the independence of the judiciary. The panel featured Claudia Paz y Paz from CEJIL (Costa Rica), Michael Camilleri from the Inter-American Dialogue, Gustavo Gorriti from IDL-Reporteros (Peru) , and WOLA Director of Citizen Security Adriana Beltrán.
Threatening Democratic Norms and Closing Civil Space in Latin America
On Wednesday, August 5, 2020, WOLA hosted the third panel in this series that examined how the Trump administration has ideologized its support for democracy in Latin America and undermined freedom of expression. The panel will feature Kathryn Ledebur from Andean Information Network (Bolivia), Ana Cristina Ruelas from Article 19 (Mexico and Central America), Laura Gil from La Línea del Medio (Colombia), and WOLA President Geoff Thale.
Stranded Between Borders: Draconian Responses to a Regional Migration Crisis
On Wednesday, August 12, 2020, WOLA hosted the fourth panel in this series which takes stock of the impact in Latin America of the Trump administration’s draconian approach to migration, which has left millions of asylum-seekers, refugees, and migrants trapped between borders in the middle of a deadly pandemic. The panel featured Gretchen Kuhner from Institution for Women in Migration (Mexico), Marco Romero from CODHES and Professor at the National University of Colombia (Colombia), and Ursula Roldán from Institute for Research and Projection on Global and Territorial Dynamics of the Rafael Landívar University (Guatemala), WOLA Director for Defense Oversight Adam Isacson. Closing remarks by Maureen Meyer, WOLA Vice President for Programs and Director for Mexico and Migrant Rights.