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Paulo Ilich Bacca, subdirector de Dejusticia. | Paulo Ilich Bacca, Dejusticia's deputy director. |

Latin America in 2024, according to Paulo Ilich Bacca

Our deputy director answers five questions about some urgent debates in the region for this year.

Por: DejusticiaFebruary 21, 2024

In El Sur Global, Dejusticia’s international newsletter, we share ideas and analysis from our valuable group of researchers. In this first edition of 2024, it was the turn of Paulo Ilich Bacca, one of our deputy directors. Paulo, who has a particular interest in the rights of indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants and peasants, as well as in Latin American constitutionalism and social and legal anthropology, answered five questions about what our region is experiencing in 2024:

How much power are Latin American authoritarianisms having?

The way in which Nayib Bukele was elected in El Salvador is very worrying, because there was a clear rupture of the constitutional regime to allow his reelection. This case follows patterns of what happened in Venezuela and Nicaragua, with Maduro and Ortega respectively. These examples, added to the election of Milei in Argentina, show that authoritarianisms of the left and right tend to re-emerge periodically and, therefore, it is essential to create alliances from civil society to strengthen the separation of powers in the region.

What democratic solutions to authoritarianism could the Inter-American Human Rights System promote?

The Inter-American system should continue to promote democratic principles of good governance through oversight for free elections and by strengthening the rule of law in the region. Likewise, it must strengthen its field visits to investigate and monitor human rights violations. In this sense, the precautionary measures of the IACHR and provisional measures of the Inter-American Court should continue and are fundamental to protect people and communities at risk of suffering irreparable harm.

And by the way, how strong will the Inter-American System be in 2024?

It has institutional maturity and international recognition. Like any regional system, it faces institutional challenges and thematic challenges. On the first flank, there is a need to consolidate the strategies for follow-up, prioritization and implementation of its cases. On the second, it must strengthen its thematic approaches in response of the changes that the world and the region have experienced in recent decades. For example, to explain why human rights are crucial to overcoming the climate crisis and improving tax policies in Latin America and the Caribbean.

How do you describe the situation faced by indigenous peoples and Afro communities in the region today?

The Latin American indigenous movement was fundamental to the configuration of the international legal order, since the colonization of the Americas made it possible for all regions of the world to come into contact with each other for the first time. Since that time, the indigenous movement has been fighting for the vindication of their rights at the global level. Therefore, its relevance is undeniable and can be seen, among other aspects, in its growing participation in regional governments, in its protagonism in the specialized forums of the United Nations and in the strength of its social movements.

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