Even as democracy has advanced in Argentina, the country still faces a number of serious human rights problems, including police brutality, lack of independence of the judiciary, and harassment of journalists who expose such problems.
President Clinton will begin his Summit trip with an official state visit to Chile. Almost eight years have passed since Chile returned to democratic rule, and during this time the country has benefitted from economic growth unparalleled elsewhere in Latin America.
Even as the administration of President Ernesto Samper has taken limited steps to curb violence and address impunity, the human rights situation in Colombia has deteriorated sharply. Political violence was particularly intense in areas contested by guerrillas and by paramilitaries operating with the acquiescence or active support of the Colombian army.
The most significant human rights event in Cuba in the past months was the visit of Pope John Paul II in late January. While the pontiff's visit forced the Cuban government to make some concessions, there has been a lack of genuine human rights reform in Cuba.
In the past year, the Haitian National Police (HNP) Force has committed serious human rights abuses, including extrajudicial executions, beatings in detention, and killings resulting from an excessive use of force.