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Graduate Assistantships: Latin America and Caribbean Program

  • Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of Central America – Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador – have seen increasing levels of violence linked to organized crime, corruption, and militarization in the last ten years. Above, pedestrians stroll down a busy market street in Santa Cruz del Quiché, Guatemala. (Photo: The Carter Center)

The Carter Center's Latin America and Caribbean Program (LACP) is seeking a qualified graduate student for the 2018-2019 session. The program strives to support transparent, accountable, and inclusive democratic governance for the benefit of citizens across the Western Hemisphere. Projects aim to promote democracy and human rights; strengthen capacities to prevent the escalation of socio-political conflicts into full-fledged crises; assist post-conflict transition; and improve overall democratic governance in Latin American and the Caribbean.

Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of Central America – Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador – have seen increasing levels of violence linked to organized crime and drug trafficking, impunity, corruption, and the militarization of internal security in the last ten years. These factors are causing widespread violations of human rights, and journalists and human rights activists are under constant threat.

Violence is leading to internal and external displacements and to a broad humanitarian crisis that is being underestimated in Mexico, the Northern Triangle, and abroad. While the short-term focus must address the humanitarian crisis, the longer term main challenge will be to work to decrease the levels of impunity and corruption that nourish the vicious cycle of violence related to organized crime.

At the same time, democracies in the Northern Triangle are particularly weak and prone to recurrent crises that undermine their democratic institutions. While Mexico’s democracy is more robust overall, the integrity of democratic institutions varies considerably at the local level. Furthermore, the four countries are characterized by high inequality and poverty rates which contribute to weaken their citizen participation and perception of democracy.    

LACP has identified four critical topics in the countries: A) Electoral Reform and Campaign Equity; B) Freedom of Expression and the Protection of Journalists; C) Citizen Participation; and D) Strengthening of Human Rights Policies.

The graduate assistant will support the program with research that provides in-depth monitoring and analytical reports that relate to these topics. He/she may be also requested to provide support for the implementation of LACP projects in those countries.

Specifically, the graduate assistant will provide the following research reports:

  • Mexico’s institutional response (or lack thereof) to human rights violations, including weekly monitoring reports.
  • Northern Triangle governmental efforts to address increased levels of violence and widespread human rights violations, including weekly monitoring reports.
  • Anticorruption efforts of the International Commission against Impunity (CICIG) in Guatemala and the Mission Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH), including monthly reports on progress.
  • As a final product of the year-long experience, he/she will produce a mapping of the civil society organization initiatives on citizen security in Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries that will contribute to LACP’s network and planning for future activities. 


  • Must be a currently enrolled graduate, post-graduate, or doctoral student who is in good standing in Latin American Politics, International Relations, or Comparative Politics with a focus on Latin America. Familiarity with Mexico and/or the Northern Triangle countries is preferred.
  • Must have taken coursework that demonstrates mastery of Latin American Politics, as well as research methods.
  • Must demonstrate analytical capabilities and strong writing skills; and
  • A command of Spanish at a native or non-native fluency level is preferred.

Compensation: $14/hour

See application deadlines »

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Graduate Assistantship


(August Start)
Application Open: Feb. 1-March 30

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