The director for the Americas of Human Rights Watch (HRW), José Miguel Vivanco, announced that he will resign from his job from next February to start “a new stage”, as reported through his Twitter account.
Vivanco, after almost three decades, said in an interview with The nation Argentina that the situation in Latin America regarding human rights is “very difficult”, so will look for “new ways” to contribute to this task from Washington.
Among the outstanding tasks of the Chilean lawyer are the presentation of a report in November 2019 on the “serious human rights violations” verified in our country, in the context of the social explosion. In addition, in the same month of 2020, he criticized that the Carabineros reform had not been done previously.
After almost 30 years, I am going to start a new stage.
Starting in February, I will be leaving my job at Human Rights Watch.
It is a very difficult time for human rights in the region. I want to explore new ways of doing this task.
My interview: https://t.co/CmuDEdhKwj
– José Miguel Vivanco (@JMVivancoHRW) December 4, 2021
As mentioned, in HRW he found support and the opportunity to create strategies to defend the rule of law, human rights and public freedoms, and based on what he learned is that seeks to deliver its “expertise in the resolution of conflicts with consequences for the validity of human rights”.
“We will have to undertake monumental efforts to defend what we have won and, where possible, continue advancing,” he said in the trans-Andean milieu, adding that he intends to “explore new ways to work on Human Rights issues.”
Vivanco considers that Latin America is in “a very bad moment”, which he classifies as “probably the worst in the last 30 years”.
“The influence of (Hugo) Chávez and his entourage, combined with the gradual discrediting of democracy as a model of government capable of improving public services, fighting corruption, insecurity and inequality,” he assures, “have left the ground paved for populist options “that abound” in the electoral calendar. “
To the above, he adds that The Covid-19 pandemic has left “the region plunged into deepening poverty“, causing likely to generate” massive protests, usually repressed with violence by the police in different countries. “
On the future of democracy, the director pointed out that “the main priority is to defend what we have.” “With the precariousness, the weakness, the lack of consensus, because there is no consensus, because we are fragmented in terms of the democratic consensus, task “1A” is to defend what we have achieved“he says.
“Everything is politicized, everything is ideologized, we are faced with nothing less than that,” he said, calling to understand that what at stake is “adherence to the democratic system, representative democracy. ”
Finally, he warned citizens not to “be seduced by the sirens of populist demagogues” and criticized that democratic systems, so far, “have not done enough to combat inequality, insecurity and corruption”.
“We need to strengthen our democracies and our commitment to the rule of law,” he urged, assuring that “nothing good can come from the populists, left or right, who promise improvements at the cost of destroying democratic institutions. (…) The middle classes and the private sector must be clear “that,” if they allow themselves to be seduced by populist proposals, the future of the region will be even more difficult, “said the former member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.