Alejandro Anaya-Muñoz. “International Human Rights Regimes in Latin America: the Commitment and Compliance Gap.” SocietàMutamentoPolitica: Rivista Italiana Di Sociologia, vol. 9, no. 17, 2018, pp. 153–174.
The article focuses on the relation between Latin American countries’ adopting of international human rights law and the level of compliance to their agreement. The article begins by explaining the international bodies that govern and monitor human rights. There are international documents dictating the law and organs that function to monitor compliance of the law. The author provides charts showing that many of the Latin American countries have adopted international bodies of law as signatories. The author argues and provides evidence that despite many Latin American countries adopting these bodies and monitors, there has been no significant improvement of human rights practices.
The author proficiently explains that there is a disconnect between practical compliance and agreed compliance. The adoption of such international human rights regimes would in theory lead to further compliance to the international bodies of law that would be stated. The author provides far more background than evidence and analysis. However, he does explain that it is difficult to measure human rights abuses as countries do not wish to advertise them. There is also a significant number of sources cited, including the authors previous work, to conclude that this research was thorough, and the conclusion was supported by evidence.
This article is useful because it shows an overarching theme of human rights in Latin America. In this course we will be delving into specific countries, however it is useful to understand the overall trends of human rights in Latin America. An interesting thing that the author points out is that even though the commitment to human rights does not directly lead to compliance, it can give domestic advocacy another legitimacy for their strife. The author also points out that the compliance with commitments of human rights laws varies based on the state’s regime type. More autocratic regimes, with less civic involvement will be less likely to implement and more democratic regimes, with more civil involvement, will be more likely to comply with human rights law. In the authors after thoughts, he briefly states, not his work, but the work of others as to why Latin America is prone to human rights abuses in general is due to either the capacity of states to follow their agreements, have constituencies who are violation prone and armed conflicts. The author believes that all of these could account for the lack of compliance with their international human rights agreements.
image source: IFEX, REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate, REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate, https://www.ifex.org/venezuela/2019/01/14/amicus-brief-tulio-alvarez/