Catharine Christie joined the Inter-American Dialogue in 2020 as a program assistant for the Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program. She graduated from Colby College with a B.A. in Latin American Studies and Government. While at Colby, Catharine worked as a research assistant in the Government department for two years, focusing her work on civil society participation and participatory institutions in Colombia and Venezuela. She spent a semester abroad studying in Havana, Cuba where she taught English, followed by a semester in Valparaíso, Chile. She also completed a January Program interning under the Dialogue’s Rule of Law Program.
On May 20, 2020, the Inter-American Dialogue, Global Affairs Canada and the Office of the Special Rapporteur of Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights hosted “Voices in the Pandemic – Covid-19 and Freedom of Expression in the Americas” to discuss the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic on freedom of expression and disinformation, especially in light of emergency measures taken across the hemisphere that limit human rights and access to information.
On May 7, 2020, the Inter-American Dialogue hosted “Beleaguered Brazil,” to discuss recent developments in Brazil such as the resignation of Sergio Moro as justice minister, Moro’s accusations against President Jair Bolsonaro, and the possible implications of Bolsonaro’s response to Covid-19 and its economic impacts.
On April 22, the Inter-American Dialogue hosted Pandemic Response and Executive Authority – The Case of El Salvador, an online event focused on recent developments in El Salvador, including President Nayib Bukele’s open defiance of the Supreme Court’s Constitutional Chamber ruling against arbitrary detention in containment centers for those who break quarantine.
While AMLO deserves credit for pledging to combat Mexico’s impunity crisis, he has failed to set a clear strategy to address the faults and lack of independence within the justice system, calling into question his commitment to confront the root causes of impunity.
The actions, or lack thereof, of the presidents of the region’s two biggest countries, Mexico and Brazil, have drawn particular scrutiny, casting a fresh spotlight on populism in Latin America and its particular vulnerabilities in the face of a global pandemic.