Democracy Promotion

Electoral Results, As Anticipated

As we wrote here, the midterm election pointed out to some likely unexpected results. Those results finally materialized and provided interesting surprises.

Undoubtedly, the best news was the electoral turnout, despite the threats of violence, boycott, abstention and rallies for “ballot annulling”. With 47% of the voters list showing up, it was the busiest midterm election since 1997. At State level, turnout surpassed an astonishing 60% in Nuevo León. Clearly, people opted for a democratic way to reject violence and provocation.

Finding Its Way to the West? Ukraine and Its Challenges

The Maidan revolution was launched to ensure that Ukraine could make its European choice. Political rhetoric aside, what are Ukraine’s true prospects for success and how much assistance is the West really prepared to offer? In discussing these issues, the panelists offered their impressions from recent visits to Ukraine and on-going discussions with leading European policymakers.

In Trouble at Home, Rousseff Travels to Washington

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's visit to the United States at the end of this month will be the fourth attempt in four years to transform a shallow dialogue marked by unfulfilled expectations, suspicion, and mutual frustrations, into the productive relationship both governments say they want to build. It may also be the most promising. It will take place at a particularly inauspicious moment for the Brazilian leader.

A Way to Restore Mexico’s Trust Deficit

The traditional stance of the PRI political party is to wait out protest: engage where essential and allow time to mollify.  Why then have the massacres of Tlatlaya and Ayotzinapa persisted in the Mexican mind? We approach 1 year since Tlatlaya when the Mexican army shot at close range 22 alleged gang members, claiming self-defense, and 8 months since 43 students at a famed teacher training College were murdered and thereafter disappeared.  The national uproar was intense with protest marches extending throughout the Mexican states and up into the United States.

Wave of Protests Spreads to Scandal-Weary Honduras and Guatemala

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The corruption scandals make it “just unavoidable that it’s going to make people skeptical about sending large amounts to Central America,” said Eric L. Olson, an analyst at the Wilson Institute, a Washington research organization, who follows the region closely.

America's Shocking Ignorance of Afghanistan

In 1815, Mountstuart Elphinstone, the first British ambassador dispatched to the court of the Afghan shah in 1809, published an abridged version of his eighty-eight volumes of notes from the mission. The result was the two-volume An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul. Two hundred years later, foreign understandings of the modern Afghan state and its inhabitants have been largely molded by this book.

The Mexico Institute's 2015 Elections Guide

Sarajevo Roses, Tahrir Protests & Djerbahood: Injustice, Youth & Resilience

Within the past quarter century, two tectonic shifts have shaken international affairs: the end of the Cold War in 1991 and the uprisings across the Arab world in 2011. These groundbreaking changes were accompanied by violence and conflict, exemplified by the wars in the former Yugoslavia and state repression across several Arab countries. Dealing with post-conflict and post-authoritarian injustice in these contexts poses a number of challenges.

A Warning in Iran’s Closed-Door Trial of Reporter Jason Rezaian

The trial of Jason Rezaian opened Tuesday, 10 months after the Iranian-American Washington Post correspondent was arrested, and adjourned without indication of when proceedings might continue. Mr. Rezaian, who has been held in Evin Prison since last summer, is accused of espionage and cooperating with a foreign government.

Here are a few things to keep in mind about his trial:

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