Democratic Governance

In recent years, the state of democratic governance in Latin America has been decidedly mixed. Discussion has turned away from elections and the leftward swings in several countries. Electoral contests are increasingly a matter of routine, and ideology has become notably less salient. The debate now centers on how leaders and institutions confront the complicated tasks of managing their economic and social affairs while representing heterogeneous societies with heightened demands and expectations.

The Inter-American Dialogue closely monitors the state of democratic governance and the rule of law in the countries of the Western Hemisphere. Our analysis, reports, and exchanges serve to encourage compliance with regional and international democratic commitments. In recent years, the Dialogue has placed emphasis on elections, press freedom, public opinion within Latin America’s growing middle class, and the implications of political shifts.


Analysis See all

Collage of speaker headshots Video

20 Years of the Democratic Charter in the Americas

On September 9, 2021, the Inter-American Dialogue hosted a virtual event “20 Years of the Democratic Charter in the Americas”. The panel discussed the current state of the Democratic Charter 20 years after its signature.

Event summary image with green background and the pictures of six detained journalists from Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba Video

Latin American Press Under Siege

On August 31st, 2021, the Inter-American Dialogue supported the press conference “Latin American Press Under Siege,” organized by Fundamedios. The event focused on the worsening persecution of journalists across Latin America and called for the immediate release of detained journalists in Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba.

Bukele conversa con diplomáticos de Estados Unidos en Guatemala

Canton: “El Salvador isn’t a democracy anymore”

In an interview for El Faro, Santiago Canton, speaks about the situation of democracy in El Salvador and the recent ruling from the Supreme Court’s Constitutional Chamber authorizing consecutive presidential reelection.


Press Mentions See all

Andrés Manuel López Obrador parece estar diciendo disparates. [La sustitución de la Organización de Estados Americanos por otro organismo] no va a suceder, al menos no en el corto plazo.
The [Biden] administration understands that it cannot count on Mexico, or many other Latin American countries, to join the US in pressuring the Cuban regime to improve its human rights record. That is today’s sad and unfortunate reality of inter-American politics. [For Lopez Obrador], principles of non-intervention and protection of national sovereignty take precedence over everything else, at least rhetorically.