ONLINE EVENT: The Covid-19 Pandemic and Prison Policy in Latin America


Event Summary This event has passed.

This post is also available in: Spanish

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented challenges on a global scale, revealing and exacerbating policy failures that affect the most marginalized communities, including those deprived of their liberty. In Latin America, where prisons have suffered from decades of abandonment and official neglect, the pandemic has brought tragedy and unrest to prisons and posed unique challenges for governments, monitoring bodies, civil society, and international institutions. The post-pandemic period, however, presents a unique and historic opportunity for Latin American policymakers to reassess and shift course with respect to prisons and criminal justice, building on fragile but innovative policy experiments triggered by the pandemic.

The Dialogue is pleased to present this event to discuss recommendations for prison reform moving forward and the challenges that persist. The panel discussion will include the presentation of a major new report to be published by the Dialogue’s Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program and authored by María Luisa Romero, Luisa Stalman, and Azul Hidalgo Solá, The Covid-19 Pandemic and Prison Policy in Latin America. The report finds that policy reforms adopted out of necessity during the pandemic to address urgent sanitation, communication, and overcrowding challenges offer important lessons and in some cases proof of concept for overdue shifts in prison policy in Latin America.

Follow this event on Twitter at #LatAmPrisons and @The_Dialogue

We invite participants to submit questions using the Q&A function in Zoom OR to email questions to  

Please note that this conversation will be held in Spanish. Simultaneous translation in English is available for those who join the event online through the RSVP.

Watch the event live here


Nathalie Alvarado

Head of Citizen Security and Justice, Inter-American Development Bank (@CSJNathalie)

Sara Vera López

Latin America and Monitoring Advisor, Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) (@apt_americas)

María Luisa Romero

Member, Inter-American Dialogue; Former Minister, Government of Panama; Member, United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (@mluisaromerop)

Susana Silva

President, Peruvian National Penitentiary Council


Michael Camilleri

Director, Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program, Inter-American Dialogue (@camillerimj)

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