Democracy Promotion | Wilson Center

Democracy Promotion

Kerry in Cuba: Can Relations Become “Normal”?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will take an historic trip to Havana, Cuba on August 14th to raise the stars and stripes at the U.S. embassy for the first time in over 50 years. He will be the first Secretary of State to travel there in 70 years. His visit brings to a close the first stage of diplomatic normalization with Cuba that began last December when Presidents Obama and Castro announced their intentions to do so.

Subcommittee Hearing: Threats to Press Freedom in the Americas

Press Freedom in the Americas has been in a general decline for the past 15 years. According to Freedom House’s latest findings (2015), only 43% of the countries in the Americas are ranked as having ‘free’ press. The remaining countries fall in the range of ‘partly free’ (43%) and ‘not free’ (14%).

Advancing Justice Sector Reform in Mexico

On June 26, the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute hosted a discussion about the current status and future prospects of Mexico’s justice sector reform. Since 2008, Mexico has been implementing a series of reforms that will transform the nation’s criminal justice system to make it more transparent and accountable, thereby improving the nation’s administration of justice and public security. Here are key aspects of that reform:  

Infographic: The Results are in: Mexico's Midterm Elections

 

On Knife’s Edge: The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia’s Impact on Violence Against Civilians

The post-Cold War era has witnessed horrific violence against non-combatants. In the Bosnian War alone, tens of thousands of civilians died. The founders of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)—and then of the permanent International Criminal Court (ICC)—hoped these courts might curb such atrocities.  However, we still know very little about their actual impact.  This talk will draw on the ICTY’s experience as the first wartime international criminal tribunal to provide insight into how and when these institutions might affect violence against civilians.

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.

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