For the past month, the Chinese authorities have engaged in a sweeping crackdown on human rights lawyers and the broader “rights defense movement” they represent. At last count, over 250 attorneys, law firm staff, family members, and activists across China had been detained or summoned for questioning since July 9. At least 20 remain in custody or are missing. Several of those being held face serious, politically motivated charges that could result in long prison terms.
Over the past 40 years, peace and democracy has largely replaced dictatorship and conflict in Latin America, to the great benefit of the United States. This transformation should inspire hope and renewed pressure for change in similarly troubled regions elsewhere in the world.