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It is ironic that Jeanine Áñez, a conservative politician who served as Bolivia’s interim president for a year, was detained on March 13 on charges of “terrorism” and other crimes. Under her administration, which ended in November, prosecutors used…
Standing behind bars, Bolivia's former interim President Jeanine Añez speaks to an unidentified woman at a police station jailhouse, in La Paz, Bolivia, on March 13, 2021.
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A well-functioning, independent judicial system is essential for good governance, accountability, and, ultimately, political stability. The lack of such a system in Bolivia explains many of the serious problems the country has gone through in the last…
Bolivia's new President Luis Arce leaves the Congress on his inauguration day in La Paz, Bolivia, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020.
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Pope Francis’s support for same-sex civil unions, extracted from a 2019 interview and recently broadcast, has reverberated around the world. Not surprisingly, it is the only snippet from “Francesco”, a wide-ranging documentary on his life,…
Pope Francis attends a inter-religious ceremony for peace in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, in Rome, October 20, 2020.
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A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region.  The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
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Victims Played Key Role in Hissene Habré’s Reckoning

“Never before had victims’ voices been so dominant”,  declared journalist Thierry Cruvellier, who’s spent two decades observing international war crimes prosecutions, as the trial of Chad’s former dictator Hissene Habré reached it…
Hissene Habre Trial
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(Buenos Aires) — President Evo Morales of Bolivia seems obsessed with staying in power. In 2016, he called a referendum on a constitutional amendment that would have eased term limits in the country’s Constitution and allowed…
Bolivia's President Evo Morales speaks during a news conference at the Presidential Palace in La Paz, Bolivia, May 9, 2017.
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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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(N’Djaména, Chad) – Sitting cross-legged on a mat in her modest home in the capital of Chad, as a fan whirled noisily to stave off the 105 degree heat, Khadidja Hassan Zidane described what it was like finally to testify in court against the man who raped…
Khadidja Hassan Zidane testifies during the trial of the former dictator of Chad Hissène Habré in Senegal on October 19 and 20, 2015
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A special court in Senegal convicted Hissène Habré, the former president of Chad, for atrocity crimes on May 30, and sentenced him to life in prison. It was the first time that the courts of one country had prosecuted the former ruler of another for…
Victims Habré
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Khadidja told me she had been repeatedly tortured, and imprisoned in Hissène Habré’s presidential palace in N’Djamena. She had promised me that the day she came face-to-face with the former president, whose brutal rule in Chad…
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(Dakar, Senegal) -- “To the victims I ask for forgiveness. I know it’s not sufficient, but I ask for forgiveness.” Bandjim Bandoum, once a top political police agent of the former Chadian dictator, Hissène Habré, had waited 25 years to unburden himself.…
Hissène Habré at trial
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Hissène Habré, Chad’s brutal former dictator, faces the heat in a criminal court.

DAKAR, Senegal — They’re working on the hotel pool, which only reminds me of the mass atrocities we’re all here for. The trial of former Chadian president Hissène Habré on charges of crimes against humanity, torture and war crimes started …
habre
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Correa Cracks Down on Environmental Activism

During his visit to Ecuador last month, Pope Francis delivered a speech on environmental stewardship and urged the administration of President Rafael Correa to “open spaces for dialogue” on how to manage the country’s resources. The 4,000-square-mile…
© 2013 Getty Images
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“It took 24 years, but I finally got to face down the man who threw me in prison,” said Souleymane Guengueng with a big grin outside the courthouse in this dusty capital. “He couldn’t even deny what he did.” Guengueng, who barely survived two-…
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“They owe me a child, they’re going to pay for what happened to my child!” shouted Oumar Goujda as he stood before the presiding judge of N’Djamena’s Criminal Court on November 21.  In April 1989, as Hissène Habré’s government was conducting a campaign of…
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Why Catholics must condemn anti-gay violence

The recent assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family has brought renewed attention to Catholic approaches to gay and lesbian persons. During the synod, church leaders discussed pastoral and theological perspectives regarding the place of homosexual…
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Bolivia’s new law sets a bad example, even though child labor has declined by 30 percent since 2000.

A controversial new law in Bolivia makes it the first country in the world to legalize work by 10-year-olds. One justification offered by officials sounded awfully familiar: “Kids want to work.” We’ve spent the last year investigating child labor in the…
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2013 brought many grim setbacks, yet there were still some important signs of progress

With the slaughter of civilians in Syria still horribly unrestrained, it is easy to be discouraged about human rights. There is, of course, every reason for outrage about Syria, and about the international community's narrow focus on peace talks, unlikely…