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Over three years ago, the Chilean government sent a bill to Congress to uphold same-sex marriage. The bill has not moved forward. Instead, Chile has been taking steps backward. Take the June decision by the Constitutional Court, denying a request…
People take part in the annual Pride parade in support of the LGBT community, in Santiago, Chile, on June 22, 2019.
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This article was published in five newspapers in Latin America. Leaders in the Americas have often been confronted in recent years with hard questions about accountability and prisoners’ rights. Should people imprisoned for…
Peru's former President Alberto Fujimori listens to the judge's verdict about his sentence in prison, in Lima October 29, 2013.
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  In January, a colleague of mine at Human Rights Watch predicted that 2018 would be the “year of the courts” for LGBT people’s rights. Seven months into the year, courts around the world have indeed come down with important rulings that…
The Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India.
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Last month, the government of President Sebastián Piñera of Chile issued rules that could seriously undermine access to legal abortion in the country. The rules issued by the Health Ministry, which modify the ones issued under former President…
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In a moment when some countries have stepped back on LGBT rights, a January 9th decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has opened a window of opportunity for Latin America to lead the way.   In a landmark…
People celebrate after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights called on Costa Rica and Latin America to recognize equal marriage, in San Jose, Costa Rica, January 9, 2018. The sign reads: "The court said yes".
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Last month, President Michelle Bachelet of Chile introduced a bill in Congress that appears to be a reaction to the recent release, in Peru, of the former autocratic President Alberto Fujimori. The proposal limits the early release of people convicted of…
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At first glance, 2017 seems to have been a good year for marriage equality the world over. But the year ends on a negative note. Let’s start in Europe. In Germany and Malta, two European Union member states, legislation came…
Same-sex couple get married at a registry office in Germany.
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Last week, the rights group Derechos Digitales released the text of a worrying draft decree, signed by President Michelle Bachelet in June, that could greatly increase intrusive government access to personal data. The decree, which still needs to be…
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(Santiago, Chile) – Last month, in a huge victory for Chile’s women, the Constitutional Court here upheld a long-awaited law that eases a total ban on abortion, raising hopes that other Latin American countries will soon reconsider their cruel…
Demonstrators raise their thumbs in approval during a rally inside congress in favor of a draft law that would ease the country's strict abortion ban, in Valparaiso, March 17, 2016.
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On November 2, the Chilean Senate adopted a resolution urging the Bachelet administration to support the Vatican’s efforts to mediate the Venezuelan crisis, and to seek a special OAS session to evaluate Venezuela's compliance with the Inter-American…
Aerial view of St. Peter's square in the Vatican.
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Washington, D.C., June 26, 2014   Hector Timerman, Foreign Affairs Minister of Argentina Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, Foreign Affairs Minister of Brazil Heraldo Muñoz, Foreign Affairs Minister of Chile María Ángela Holguín, Foreign Affairs Minister of…
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Honorable Camilo Escalona Medina, Presidente del Senado Honorable Nicolás Monckeberg Díaz, Presidente de la Cámara de Diputados ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Honorable Hernán Larraín Fernández, Presidente de la Comisión de Constitución, Legislación, Justicia y…
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On October 16, 1998, London police arrested General Pinochet on a warrant from a Spanish judge for human rights crimes.     In the ten years since, the world has become a smaller place for brutal despots. Indeed, today a former dictator accused of…
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Bringing their tormentors to book is an important way for victims to recover their dignity

John Laughland suggests that human rights organisations, including Human Rights Watch, are more concerned about the conviction of former heads of state than about them getting fair trials. Nothing could be further from the truth. (Fujimori's trial could…
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Dear SAARC Government Leaders: As the leaders of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) meet in New Delhi on April 3 and 4, 2007, the discussions will inevitably focus upon economics and regional security. At SAARC meetings, human…
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A casual visitor to the drab committee room in the British Parliament building where the fate of General Augusto Pinochet was decided during five weeks in 1998 and 1999 might have been excused for missing the case's historical significance. The law lords…
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(Brussels) - General Augusto Pinochet died without standing trial. But justice caught up with him in every other sense. Indeed, the "Pinochet precedent" has made the world a smaller place for the perpetrators of the worst atrocities. For years after…