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Almagro Champions Democracy in the Americas

Head of the OAS says it will stand its ground against abusers of power in the region.

Photograph by Reba Saldanha

It is not in vain that the Organization of American States plays the central role in the Western Hemisphere’s policy agenda, its Secretary General Luis Almagro declared at an October 7 lecture at BC law. That’s because “it has a solid … basis to support democracy and human rights. It has a solid basis for protecting people.”

In his speech sponsored by the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy, Almagro went on to say that the solid basis itself needs protecting from powerful forces that would destroy it.

Among those forces are tyrants and dictators who often stand in the way of democracy. “Silencing people is the strongest way to break people’s serenity,” Almagro said. “We cannot stand by and feel comfortable … witnessing this reality, while at the same time, dictators use new tools to more effectively repress and [to] censor and to hide deprivations that [they] carry out on a daily basis.”

In his news report in BC’s The Heights, Brandon Kenney writes in more detail about Almagro’s passionate belief in the OAS as a moral voice in the region that can be relied upon to stand up for human rights and democracy.

Read more of Kenney’s story in The Heights.