The new Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which began in the city of Wuhan (China) on December 10, 2019, has quickly spread to the entire world, leaving more than 3 million people infected and more than 200,000 dead. By the end of April, Latin America had registered more than 170,000 infected people and 8,000 dead. These numbers are rising daily with devastating effects, not only in terms of people’s health, but also with regards to the economy, the state of democracy, and the rule of law in the region.
COVID-19 already has forced the postponement of at least 10 electoral procedures scheduled for the first half of 2020 and certain governments have declared states of emergency to control the health crisis. These decisions raise important human rights and rule of law issues for a region that typically ranks lower on global democracy and corruption studies. Governments are facing a legitimacy question over the electoral procedures; rising human rights violations as a result of special powers that governments have acquired and the involvement of the armed forces in the controlling of the crisis; the difficult task of legislatures functioning normally; a looming economic crisis that CEPAL has qualified as the most severe the region has ever faced; and longstanding problems of corruption and impunity.
Without a doubt, COVID-19 will leave an indelible political and economic mark, but will also force institutional reforms to confront future challenges, opening the door to opportunities for citizen participation, social dialogue, and the strengthening of democracy and the rule of law. To discuss these challenges and opportunities in detail, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) and the World Justice Project (WJP) invite you to participate in a webinar entitled “The impact of COVID-19 on democracy and rule of law in Latin America” featuring recognized experts from the region.
- Daniel Zovatto, Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, International IDEA (moderator)
- Alejandro Ponce, Chief Research Officer, World Justice Project
- Claudia Escobar, former magistrate, Court of Appeals of Guatemala
- Catalina Botero, Dean, School of Law, Universidad de Los Andes
- Lucia Dammert, Professor of International Relations, Universidad de Santiago
Important Notice: This event will be held in Spanish