Peter D. Bell Rule of Law

Over the last three decades, Latin America and the Caribbean have made much progress towards democracy, freedom, and legal protections for human rights. In 1982, just ten countries in the region enjoyed democratic rule. Today, all but Cuba have popularly elected governments. In addition, human rights have been written into laws and constitutions in almost every country. Yet rights, freedoms, violence, and citizen security are still among the region’s greatest challenges. This failure is largely not for lack of legal mechanisms, but rather weaknesses of rule of law and state capacity across the region.

The Inter-American Dialogue’s Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program aims to elevate policy discussions around human rights, democratic institutions, government accountability, civil society engagement, and hemispheric cooperation. 

The program was established in 2015 to honor Peter D. Bell, a founding co-chair of the Dialogue’s Board of Directors, with support of the Ford Foundation. The broad scope and ambitions of the program are a fitting tribute to Peter’s expansive career as a tireless champion of human rights. 

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A Conversation with Ricardo Lagos

On July 12, former President of Chile Ricardo Lagos visited the Inter-American Dialogue and discussed a variety of issues related to Chile, Latin America, and the future of the region and its place in the world.

Strongmen Have the Edge With Trump. Why Not Maduro?

Mr. Trump should be commended for coming down hard on Latin America’s strongmen. But by also resurrecting an impulse for unilateral action and indifference to the region’s needs and concerns, he is making it more difficult to help bring about the democratic change he ostensibly seeks.