The Right to Social Protest and the Inter-American Standards

Edison Lanza*

Versión en español aquí.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only affected human health and life in the region. In many countries, State restrictions in response to the pandemic focused on curtailing the freedoms of expression and association, public assembly, and other central tenets of democracy. While some emergency measures may be legitimate under the American Convention as a means of dealing with this calamity, others were clearly abusive and aimed at blunting or preventing renewed cycles of protest. These restrictions came at a particularly turbulent time in the region, with citizens’ movements taking to the streets over the past two years to raise their voices against structural inequality or corruption, or to defend democracy itself.

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