The Latin America and Caribbean Program (formerly known as the Americas Program) works to enhance the quality of democracy in the region and make it more accountable to citizens. Projects aim to strengthen regional capacities to promote democracy, transform and prevent conflicts, and improve democratic governance.
The Carter Center promotes the collective defense of democracy in the Western Hemisphere by regional institutions, governments, civic organizations, and media to help prevent democratic crises. To advance this goal, the Center founded and serves as the secretariat of the Friends of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, a group of former presidents, prime ministers, cabinet ministers, and human rights officers. Through quiet diplomacy and fact-finding missions, the Friends listen to disputing parties in country conflicts; encourage peaceful and constitutional means to resolve democratic conflict; focus international attention at critical political moments, including elections; and contribute to more informed and better designed diplomatic actions. Read more about the Friends' work.
The Center sponsors dialogue and conciliation efforts, often with international partners, to increase cooperation and help resolve national and bilateral disputes. For example, a citizen dialogue forum between the five Andean countries and the United States met over several sessions to form personal relationships, learn about mutual interests, and generate proposals to reinforce official diplomacy.
Within nations, the program has helped countries facing significant citizen demand for political change by sponsoring open dialogue and mediation, organizing consensus-building exercises, and consulting with local groups. For example, after an attempted coup in Venezuela, the Center worked to advance discussions between the government and opposing factions.
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The Latin America and Caribbean Program works to help prevent democratic crises and ensure that democracies work effectively to serve their citizens.