Serial No. 109-100: Transparency and Rule of Law in Latin America: Hearing before the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere of the Committee on the International Relations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Ninth Congress, First Session, May 25, 2005   [open pdf - 417KB]

From the opening statement of Dan Burton: "Today, the Subcommittee intends to continue our broad overview of affairs in the hemisphere by examining the state of justice sector reforms, government transparency, and the rule of law in Latin America. One of the linchpins of a democratic state is a transparent and impartial legal system, and guarantees that all people, regardless of race, creed, or social status, will have access to it. Where there are strong legal institutions, there tends to be greater respect for human rights, less tolerance of corrupt practices, and more effective deterrence against crime. A strong and independent judiciary leads to greater integrity of legal proceedings and outcomes that are less likely to be perceived as being compromised for political purposes. Conversely, where there are weak legal institutions, we see higher levels of crime, less respect for human rights, higher levels of corruption, and other systemic abuses of power. Furthermore, in these countries, we are more likely to see citizens take to the streets and resort to violence to mete out violence or bypass constitutional mechanisms. We most recently have seen examples of this type of mob justice in Guatemala, Ecuador, and Bolivia." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Adolfo A. Franco, Jonathan D. Farrar, Otto J. Reich, Armando E. Lacasa, Jennifer Windsor, John G. Murphy, Dan Burton, and Jerry Weller.

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Serial No. 109-100
Public Domain
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Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html
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