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Despite Plebiscite Defeat, Democracy Lives On

As an intern in the Latin America and Caribbean Program, I had the opportunity to be part of Colombia’s domestic election observation to witness Colombians voting abroad on Oct. 2 in a plebiscite to approve the peace accord between the government and the Marxist rebel group FARC.  Our assignment was to observe the vote at the consulate in Atlanta.

Carter …

Americas Program Book Maps Human Rights Network in Colombia

On Sept. 15, members of the Center’s Americas Program traveled to Bogotá, Colombia, for the launch of Trayectoria Institucional de los DDH en Colombia: Retos para Tiempos de Paz, a new publication produced by The Carter Center.

The book maps the country’s human rights network and will help in the implementation of the recent peace accord that ends the 50-year …

Finding the End of a 50-Year Civil War | Q&A with Carter Center Expert Jennie Lincoln

For more than 50 years, Colombia has been plagued by civil war. The fighting forced more than 5 million people from their homes and claimed the lives of more than 200,000, according to most reports. But finally, after four years of negotiations, peace is at hand. The Carter Center has been working behind the scenes in Colombia to help prepare …

President Carter Receives Prestigious Awards from Panama and the LBJ Foundation

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter received back-to-back honors this week in appreciation of his efforts to promote peace and human rights.

On Wednesday, the LBJ Foundation presented him with its LBJ Liberty and Justice for All Award; and on Thursday, Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela and Vice President Isabel Saint Malo presented President Carter with the Grand Cross grade of …

Panama Elections Full of Contradictions and Tensions

Panama’s elections were full of contradictions and tensions. Defying the polls, the winning candidate, Juan Carlos Varela, was the sitting vice president estranged from the president and running in opposition. With the possibility of the governing party continuing in office for the first time since the ouster of Manuel Noriega in 1990, fears of a growing concentration of power contributed to Panamanians rejecting the party that had led the highest economic growth rates in the hemisphere and a president with over 60 percent approval ratings.

Fellowship Helps Bring Purpose to Passion

Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Robert Pastor and his wife, Margy, a fellowship is now available to support the work and study of a summer fellow in the Carter Center’s Americas Program. The founder and former director of the Americas Program, Dr. Pastor was advisor for Latin American affairs on the National Security Council in the Carter White House …

Forum Addresses Media Stereotypes, Politicized Reporting in Latin America

Misunderstandings and tensions between Andean countries (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela) and the United States are common, and often reinforced or made worse by charged, politicized reporting in media stories related to these countries.

To address this problem, the Carter Center-sponsored Andean-U.S. Dialogue Forum created a working group of media professionals to promote a deeper understanding of the role …

Forum Identifies Solutions to Improve Cooperation Among Andean Countries and the United States

The Andean-U.S. Dialogue Forum, a citizens’ forum created to identify and contribute solutions to multilateral problems and tensions among the Andean countries (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela) and the United States, has issued a report outlining a common agenda to improve cooperation among the nations.

“Many of these countries have tensions with each other at the governmental level on …

Andean-U.S. Forum Meets in Peru

The Andean-U.S. Dialogue Forum met in Lima, Peru, on June 1-2 to develop a common agenda to address problematic issues among the represented countries. The forum, which consists of influential citizens from a variety of sectors within each country, is designed to provide crucial support and reinforcement of diplomatic efforts through a civil society process.

Dr. Jennifer McCoy, director of …

Join Us for Conversations on Wednesday, March 10

In his new book, “Wars, Guns, and Votes,” Oxford economist Paul Collier argues that the international community – presumably including The Carter Center – focuses too much on holding elections and ignores the underlying problems of insecurity and lack of checks and balances essential for democratic development. Collier will discuss his concerns during a Carter Center Conversation on Wednesday from …

Andean-U.S. Forum Aims to Strengthen Relations

For the past two days at The Carter Center, influential nongovernmental participants from the United States and the five Andean countries of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia have gathered for a dialogue aimed to strengthen the historically difficult U.S.-Andean relations and cooperation.

The project is co-sponsored by The Carter Center and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance …

Political Finance Reform and Media Mapping: An Expert Q and A With Shelley McConnell

In an effort to foster fairness, increase transparency, and galvanize stability in the electoral process throughout the Americas, with the Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL) and the University of Calgary – has developed a series of interactive country media maps designed to encourage reform of political finance regulations. Using cutting-edge technology, the maps illustrate where media are located, how …

Q&A With Jennifer McCoy, Ph.D. Director of the Americas Program

Fourteen presidents resigned or were removed from office prematurely in the last two decades. What does this mean for Latin American democracy?

Governments have had a difficult time addressing the needs of the people, particularly low-income and marginalized peoples. As a result, satisfaction with democratic performance is eroding, even while support for the principles of democracy remains strong. High crime …

Democracy and Dialogue: Venezuela Election Q&A

At the conclusion of the Carter Center’s work to help resolve Venezuela’s political crisis, Dr. Jennifer McCoy, director of the Center’s Americas Program, traveled to Caracas Feb. 24, 2005, to present the Center’s final report on the presidential referendum process. Before leaving, she and former Carter Center Caracas Representative Francisco Diez talked about the Center’s work there for the past …

Dr. Jennifer McCoy Reflects on The Carter Center’s Mission to Cuba

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter made history in May 2002 as the first United States president, former or sitting, to visit Cuba since Fidel Castro assumed power in 1959. Among those accompanying him on The Carter Center delegation was Dr. Jennifer McCoy (pictured at left with Cuban healthcare workers), director of the Americas Program at The Carter Center and associate …