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By Rafael Braun


In this paper, Braun approaches the question of human rights in United States-Latin American relations from an essentially political perspective in order to offer a wide explanatory context for understanind why a topic on which presumable there should be agreement had been, in fact, a source of conflict during the 1980s. 

In its first section, Braun explores the dimensions and sources of ambiguity contained in the expression "human rights".  The paper then examines the mechanisms which Braun considers to be desirable in promoting respect for human rights, including the role of the state, of voluntary associations, of multilateral institutions, and of the United States government in bilateral relations. Finally, the paper analyzes the possibilities for cooperation and conflict between Latin America and the United States on human rights issues in the 1980s and 1990s.

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The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more