#FreedomNotAvailable: Voices of Artists, Journalists and Protesters Under Threat in the Digital Space

By ARTICLE 19 Mexico and Central America

In a context of already widespread violence to silence the press in the physical environment, Mexico’s journalists now face additional pressure, threats and intimidation forcing them to delete digitally-shared content. Content removal[1] has the potential to silence essential expressions in a democratic society. Voices of artists, journalists and protesters face the risk of being eliminated and illegally erased from the digital space without the guarantees of due process.

The “Defending Freedom of Expression on the Internet: Transparency and Due Process of Online Censorship through Content Removal” project supported by Indela has brought this reality to light and shown the negative effects it has on freedom of expression and the right to information.

The various activities carried out as part of this project have helped some actors of the State publicly acknowledge the commitment to take on higher levels of transparency regarding removal requests made to social media platforms by institutions of the Mexican government. It has also contributed to a demand for social media platforms to include data about which State institutions are making the requests, the type of information they are asking to have removed and the reasons these requests are made, in transparency reports.

Through the #FreedomNotAvailable and #NeitherCensorshipNorPadlocks campaigns, we, along with other organizations, have managed to bring into the public agenda the need to defend freedom of expression from extrajudicial mechanisms like “notice and takedown” or copyright claims to remove content on social media platforms, web pages and web hosts.

Through a partnership with Harvard University’s Cyberlaw Clinic, we developed the white paper Access Denied: How Journalists and Civil Society Can Respond to Content Takedown Notices[2] which describes the impact of the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) on journalism and the work of civil society organizations in Latin America. The Karisma Foundation (Colombia), Intervozes (Brazil) and Espacio Público (Venezuela) participated in the creation of this guide.

The results of this project have also allowed ARTICLE 19 to make tools available to civil society to respond to requests for content removal by social network platforms through a series of informative guides: (i) Content removal guide on Twitter policies; (ii) Content removal guide on Facebook community standards; (iii) Introduction to content removal and the (iv) Google content removal guide[3].

The impact of this project must be viewed in light of the #FreedomNotAvailable: Censorship and Content Removal in Mexico[4] report, which reviews the various mechanisms used in the country to remove online content and interfere in the right to freedom of expression and information of journalists and all users of technology.

The report explores how content removal undermines the press and the flow of information and manifests itself through: 1) content moderation policies on digital platforms, which are incompatible with the human right to freedom of expression; 2) threats and harassment of journalists to remove information from their spaces or digital profiles, and 3) content removal requests made to digital platforms—under ambiguous legal assumptions and without following due process or complying with judicial guarantees. It also describes the relationship between various institutions of the Mexican state and digital platforms to ask them to remove or restrict access to content. In this scenario, an information gap prevails, as does a lack of clarity about the legal basis giving the authorities the necessary power to request the removal of online content.

According to transparency reports from Twitter, Facebook and Google, between 2017 and 2020 Mexican authorities made 38 thousand requests for content removal. However, through transparency requests, reporting parties reported only 1697 requests for removal during that same period. With this, we have identified inconsistencies in the information provided by authorities, so we only know 1 in 10 requests made by the Mexican State to digital platforms. That is, for 95.6% of content removal clauses, we have no information, transparency, or accountability.

Indela’s support has been crucial for presenting the results of the investigation and sharing tools to deal with the abuses existing for content removal. Their support has also been vital for the Mexican State, digital platforms and other actors to take on greater commitments to transparency and accountability, as well as protecting the right to freedom of expression and access to information in the digital space.


[1] Content removal is the practice of deleting or restricting the circulation of information online, making use of legal frameworks and private mechanisms that limit its access. It is used illegally and irresponsibly to censor information of public interest that should circulate and remain accessible.

[2]Available at the following link: https://articulo19.org/reclamos-de-derechos-de-autor-son-utilizados-para-eliminar-contenidos-periodisticos-y-de-activistas-en-america-latina/

[3] The four guides are available at: https://seguridadintegral.articulo19.org

[4] Report available at: https://articulo19.org/libertadnodisponible/

Routes of Assistance for Online Gender-Based Violence, After the Law

By Hiperderecho Since 2018, four types of online gender-based violence (OGBV) have been recognized as crimes in Peru under Legislative Decree 1410, including sexual harassment and the distribution of private images without consent. In this context, we set out to determine the available and suitable routes of assistance in the country’s justice system to deal with cases of OGBV and the conditions necessary for complaints to advance through these routes. In addition, we called on five people who, with great generosity and courage, allowed us to follow them through their reporting process and, along with them, discover what happens when a person seeks to report OGBV in Peru.

A year after implementing the project, we discovered that the process of seeking justice for cases of OGBV is not a straight line. Instead, it is a challenging, exhausting, and diverse process in which, despite the laws, routes usually lack transparency and justice is different for each person. Understanding this, we went beyond identifying the applicable regulations and focused on listening and acknowledging the stories of struggle, the perspectives, and the needs of those experiencing this violence. We discovered that women and LGBTQ people who have experienced OGBV face a series of gender, information, socioeconomic, racial, and digital barriers that prevent them from having equal access to an effective complaint process and justice[1].

One of the first achievements of the project was bringing to light the reality of little access to justice. We carried out social network campaigns with strategies like the Mass Tweet using #IReportedOGBV, which trended in Peru thanks to the participation of feminist organizations, young students and people who have experienced OGBV in the country and the region. Through these dialogs, we confirmed that the impunity around all forms of gender-based violence, including online, still exists. Today, we know that OGBV is still normalized, that the justice system delays and fails to respond to the new challenges it presents, and that it is sisterhood and feminist support that acts as the pillar keeping us afloat. We are excited that the strategies being co-created in digital feminist spaces seek precisely to recognize OGBV as real violence and to take care of women and LGBTQ people who face a series of prejudices and obstacles when reporting their cases.

A second achievement was proposing and sharing methodologies to investigate OGBV from a feminist viewpoint and performing a critical analysis that lets us propose specific changes. We have put forth feminist legal methodology as a political and research tool to identify violence, negligence or missing components in the justice system that disproportionately affect women and LGBTQ people experiencing OGBV. This methodology also allows us to mainstream a gender-based approach in understanding the Law and the justice system in which the complaints are handled. By making this proposal visible, we also generated new partnerships with regional organizations, state operators, activist networks and attorney groups; that is, we are starting to collectively build a gender justice model to address cases of online violence that puts the needs of those who experience digital violence above the barriers and prejudices that exist in the justice systems of the country and the region.

Our third achievement was developing a support strategy for investigators and for people who have experienced cases of OGBV, which we call “strategic support.” Through this type of support, we provide legal advice, support in digital security and psycho-legal support to cope with the emotional burden of the complaint. In addition, we advocate for the co-creation of safe spaces for those who face violence to share doubts, feelings, desires, and expectations. As an organization today, we are backing and promoting this proposal as a practical and fundamental strategy in the search for gender justice. To do so, we have developed three practical informational workshops directed at attorneys, social workers, support persons and activists, at which we share all the logistical and emotional resources we use to provide empathetic support and discuss the challenges of providing this support. In addition, we have produced a collaborative self-care guide[2], from the stories of the people who participated in one of the workshops, to create more holistic recommendations from and for people who provide support.

Finally, we highlight a fourth achievement that sometimes goes unnoticed: we managed to bring ourselves together as a research and support team. At the beginning of the project, we did not anticipate or prepare ourselves for the emotional exhaustion of practices such as reading about violence on a daily basis, organizing testimonies discussing the cases, providing support during and outside of working hours, and generating bonds of trust in the team. These were all very emotional processes that changed us as a team and as an organization. Along the way, we questioned ourselves, we got overwhelmed and we hugged each other. Therefore, we also used project resources to receive group psychological support[3], receive holistic healing therapy and, above all, to document what we learned[4]. By sharing this experience with our colleagues in the region, we discovered that we were not the only team that had felt this way, and we reaffirmed that the resources we have must be used to take care of ourselves as well. Only then will be we able take care of others.

Our next step in the “After the Law: Seeking Gender-Sensitive Justice for Women and LGBTIQ+ People Facing Gender-Based Violence Online” project, supported by Indela and the Tinker Foundation, is to keep working from a feminist viewpoint to learn, collaborate and develop proposals, not alone but collectively, that bring us increasingly closer to gender justice for cases of OGBV. Our plan is to continue advocating for effective application of the rules, but also the urgent need to promote awareness, empathy, collective care and support for those who report OGBV. Only this way will we identify the best routes to take care of ourselves and to take care of those who decide to carry out the arduous but courageous process of reporting.

New reality, new 2021 Indela call

2020 was a challenging year. Latin America, like many parts of the world, is facing grave and unprecedented threats to rights and to democracy. The use of information technology, for example, has come to affect aspects of our lives like never before, and responses to the Covid-19 pandemic have exacerbated the deep inequalities that already existed in our societies — from the digital divide in the region, which affected access to knowledge and information, to new and complex security and privacy challenges. 

In response to the pandemic, the public sector has introduced social controls, and put restrictions on rights. Many Latin American countries have adopted technological measures to prevent and reduce the spread of the virus, for example, implementing contact tracing apps. These apps, which have not been shown to reduce contagion of the virus, violate the right to privacy by collecting unnecessary personal data, offer little transparency as to how that data is – and will be – used,  and present serious security concerns. They also increase both corporate and state power in the context of the current crisis, and our post-pandemic future.

In addition, during the first months of 2021, many governments in our region have taken a public position on the regulation of large digital platforms such as Facebook, Google, Twitter. These positions are concerning because they undermine freedom of expression online, and shape public discourse, without consideration of the public’s broader interests.  

While the future is uncertain, this significant and historic moment presents the opportunity to preserve and advance digital rights in Latin America. , Given the current emergency we are facing, Indela (Iniciativa por los Derechos Digitales en Latinoamérica) is launching a new, more flexible open call, intended to support projects that respond to the urgent needs of the digital rights ecosystem in the region.

In particular, Indela’s 2021 Open Call will support projects that protect and advance rights affected by digital technologies, and that are submitted by organizations based in Latin America. We will consider proposals for projects on public campaigns, applied research, and/or public policy advocacy, for funding up to a maximum of US$25,000, that can be implemented within a six-month period. In addition, each project will be eligible for specialized consultancies to strengthen the impact of the project as well as the overall work of the applicant organization. 

At Indela, we are reaffirming our commitment to strengthening digital rights in the region by supporting the organizations that defend them. We believe we must act now to address the specific and urgent challenges facing Latin Americans, by expanding and protecting our digital rights.

The 2021 call will be open from April 15 to May 15.

APPLY HERE

Uruguay: towards a population under surveillance with facial recognition

By DATYSOC

Uruguay is poised to develop a “Facial Identification” database for public safety purposes under the Ministry of the Interior. This system was approved using the National Budget Act as an “omnibus law,” thus preventing proper discussion about the issue due to the tight deadlines for approval of this type of law.

Development of this database will be under the responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior, using the database currently under the control of the National Directorate of Civil Identification, the organization in charge of issuing identification cards. The database will include facial images of adults, first and last names, sex, date of birth, nationality, and identification card number, as well as issue and expiration dates. The Ministry of the Interior has already purchased automated facial recognition software and currently has a system of 8433 cameras distributed in the country’s 19 departments, in addition to private surveillance systems. The national government has admitted that the intended use of this facial identification database is automated surveillance using facial recognition algorithms.

Particularly concerning is the broad discretion given to the Ministry of the Interior as to the possible uses of this facial identification database, since it includes any type of use for public safety purposes covered under the missions of the Organic Police Law. The concept of “public safety” is so broad that it does not define public authorities’ limitations in use of personal data.

What could go wrong?

Several recent studies [1], [2], [3] warn that most commercial facial recognition systems have significant bias and are still immature technology. Biased facial recognition technology is particularly problematic for uses related to public safety because errors could lead to false accusations and unjustified arrests.

But let’s suppose that the facial recognition algorithms work correctly, and the database is managed carefully from a technical point of view by the Ministry of the Interior. That would mean state surveillance systems could identify each individual perfectly. In that case, the question is: do we really want to go there?

The use of this technology entails great risks: it may be used to find and arrest protesters or protest organizers, or it may be used to track people remotely without their knowledge, among other concerning uses. In addition, living in a surveillance society affects people’s privacy and can also affect freedom of expression, movement and assembly, in ways we do not yet suspect. How will facial identification affect the behavior of Uruguayans? Has the impact of the possible social consequences of using biometrics in the public space been analyzed? Is it necessary and proportional?

In Uruguay the topic was included in a Budget Act (omnibus law) with no public discussion, but in other countries legislators have proposed or even approved laws prohibiting the use of facial recognition by the government to surveil its citizens [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6], including prohibiting the use of other biometrics technologies such as voice recognition, gait recognition and recognition of other immutable physical characteristics. Several organizations working on human rights and technology issues in Latin America have highlighted problematic cases related to use of facial recognition and have warned about the risks that this technology represents for the population.

In addition, it is important to emphasize that international human rights organizations have warned about the potential risks of abuse and recommend that countries regulate it by law, analyzing the detailed scope of its use, the need and proportionality. In this sense, in the year 2020, renowned tech companies decided to place moratoriums on offering their facial recognition solutions to governments, requesting that their use be regulated by parliamentary procedure.

Warning of civil society

On October 13, 2020, these two articles were approved by the Chamber of Representatives without debate of any kind. When the Budget Act passed to consideration by the Chamber of Senators (during the months of October and November), the DATYSOC team warned about the potential dangers of using automated facial identification for public safety purposes and about the excessive discretion granted to the Ministry of the Interior, managing to establish the issue on the media’s agenda [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]. In turn, along with over 20 organizations from Uruguay and the region, we sent a letter to the Chamber of Senators of Uruguay, asking that these articles be removed from the draft of the Budget Act.

Based on these warnings issued by civil society, several senators took a position in favor of separation of these articles or requested inclusion of a requirement for prior court order to authorize use of these facial identification data for public safety purposes. Unfortunately, due to the little time for discussion that a Budget Act implies, no agreement was reached. These articles, which included a “carte blanche” for the Ministry of the Interior, were approved without amendments by both chambers, preventing the in-depth and necessary parliamentary debate the issue requires.

Our strategy

Having exhausted the options to influence the parliamentary discussion process surrounding the Budget Act and seeking possible pathways to avoid greater harm, we at DATYSOC have decided to press for the inclusion of this issue in the 5th Open Government Action Plan 2021-2025. We are seeking a commitment from the Ministry of the Interior that allows, at minimum, the possibility of an informed debate with the participation of the many interested parties prior to its implementation.

Furthermore, we are closely analyzing the impact of these measures on human rights, seeking the greatest possible transparency in the process and its implementation, to keep the population informed.

Learn more about the issue

Indela is proud to support six new digital rights initiatives in the region

Selected Projects 2020

Digital and physical spaces are increasingly connected. Political and social tensions, the public’s relationship with the state and its use of technology are raising new and complex challenges to digital rights. The ongoing pandemic, and related state responses, are creating further cause for concern: Throughout the region, we are seeing widespread misuse of personal data, limits on expression, lack of information and knowledge being distributed to vulnerable communities, and many other alarming developments.

To support the advancement of digital rights in the region, Indela opened its second open call in 2020. We received 138 proposals from 15 Latin American countries.

Today, the Indela team is pleased to announce the six projects selected for its second funding cycle. We are very proud to support these innovative initiatives, which will work on free and fair copyright reform, reducing online gender based violence, localizing public data protection policies,  and user-centric cybersecurity laws, among others.

These six projects will receive funding for 12 to 18 months, as well as customized support to strengthen the impact of their work.

The final selections from Indela’s 2020 open call, are as follow: 

  1. REMIX: discussing copyright and the Internet,” by Agência Lema and InternetLab, will foster a public conversation about copyright in Brazil, and the need for progressive reforms.
  2. Supporting Victims of Online Gendered Violence” by the Cultivando Género Civil Association, will support women and girls in Aguascalientes, Mexico, who have been targeted by digital violence, to learn about the legal options available to them, and make informed decisions in exercising their rights.
  3. DATYSOC: towards a Comprehensive Digital Rights Agenda in Uruguay,” by DATA Uruguay, will strengthen Uruguay’s digital rights legislative digital rights agenda by advocating for public interest copyright regulation and internet intermediary liability policies.
  4. Multicultural digital rights frameworks for indigenous and afro-descendent communities in Bolivia: comparative analysis and public policy advocacy,” by Asociación Aguayo and Fundación InternetBolivia.org, will work to develop contextualized regulatory frameworks for internet access and personal data protection in selected Bolivian municipalities.
  5. A Multi-sector Initiative for Information Security and Fundamental Rights,” by  Vía Libre Foundation, is a collaboration between public- and private- sector actors to develop policies that safeguard digital assets (including personal data and critical infrastructure) in Argentina. 
  6. Building bridges between Latin America’s digital rights and consumer defense communities,” ​​by the Brazilian Institute for Consumer Defense (IDEC), will coordinate the digital rights work of consumer defense advocates, with the strategies of the region’s digital rights community. In particular the project will focus on personal data protection policies and their enforcement. 

Congratulations to the organizations selected in Indela’s 2020 Open Call!

For more information about Indela and the projects we support, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Latin American digital rights in 2020: a year of new opportunities and challenges   

Bookending 2019 were two major milestones for digital rights and civil society in Latin America. At the start of the year, we saw the #MeTooMX movement ignite in México, amplifying the voices of sexual violence survivors nationwide. Later in the year, during the months of October and December, we saw dozens of protests erupt in response to deep-seated, longstanding socio-economic and political issues take place across Latin America, but especially in the Andean region. Countries such as Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru became the focal point for diverse, vibrant, decentralized movements that resulted in several state leaders leaving power.

While the full impact of 2019’s social justice uprisings is still being understood, we can already be certain that there is a fundamental relationship between digital rights and civic participation. In other words, digital and physical spaces are increasingly interconnected. For example, the MeTooMx movement demonstrated the transformative power that citizen participation can have online, but it also illustrated the threats it can pose. While the movement brought much needed attention to gender equality, at the same time it led to increased attacks and harassment of women both online and off. Similarly, the protests throughout the Andes, undoubtedly made important progress for social, political and economic rights, yet at the same time they were met by online censorship and internet shutdowns, and an increase in intrusive state surveillance without adequate justification or oversight. As several organizations from the region expressed in a public statement from December 20 th 2019, there is wide concern about the “global trend of persecuting people who defend human rights using digital media and platforms, including those who conduct research and provide safety training to protect and promote these rights.”

Unfortunately, not just in the Andes, but throughout Latin America, social justice protests are increasingly met by disproportionate state surveillance. Amidst the region’s crises of legitimacy and weakening institutions, many governments are now spying on their own citizens at unprecedented levels. For example, we are seeing the broad use of facial recognition and other biometric surveillance technologies, the use of targeted spyware deployed against activists, and disproportionate access to personal records – all of which are contrary to international human rights standards. As a result, we are seeing now more than ever that the connection between political and social tensions and the State’s use of information technology are central to civil society’s agenda. Just as it has never been so important to understand the digital environment to understand what’s going on in the streets, it has never been so important to understand what’s going on in the streets, to understand the digital environment.

The state’s use of information technology to consolidate its power, could not, of course, be possible without the private sector, which is, in its own right, interested in amassing profit. This convergence of commercial and political interests has led digital rights organizations to develop sophisticated and comprehensive agendas centered around the principle of social justice and civic empowerment. To this end, we see new campaigns emerging on net neutrality, content moderation, use of AI by intelligence agencies, electronic voting, and technical control over copyright issues.

2019 has shown us that given rapid ongoing developments in information technology, and ever- evolving socio-political situations throughout Latin America, it would be naïve to say there is a fixed digital rights agenda for the year ahead. But to ensure robust responses to whatever threats do emerge online in 2020, Indela is launching its second open call to support the organizations fighting to protect digital rights in the region. Our aim at Indela is to supports organizations to build capacity and resilience, so that they can rise to meet the demands of protecting empowered, informed, participatory – and connected – spaces online. To talk about digital rights today is, now more than ever, to talk about human rights.

To learn more about Indela, visit our website and follow us on Twitter.

Interview with Carlos Cortés: You can not talk about rights in the physical space without digital rights

Carlos Cortés is the founder of Linterna Verde, a non-profit think-tank and a consultant on internet and society issues. Carlos was Twitter’s Public Policy manager for Latin America. He has advised international cooperation organizations on freedom of expression and internet policy. He has a law degree from Los Andes University (Colombia) and a Masters in Communications and Media Governance from the London School of Economics. He is a researcher on Internet policy issues at the Center for Freedom of Expression of Palermo University, Argentina. He currently directs the video blog La Mesa de Centro.

Why are digital rights important?

When we talk about digital rights we are not referring to an isolated and limited exercise in the online environment. Nowadays, the exercise of most of the rights in physical spaces -or analogical- depends and feeds on the possibilities of development in the online context.

In other words: without digital rights there are no analogical rights. Think, for example, of the right to protest, freedom of expression, privacy, or political participation. Without digital guarantees, we can hardly talk about the existence of active citizens.

From your perspective, what are the main challenges facing the digital rights ecosystem in Latin America?

There are as many challenges as there are issues, but if I had to place it in the regional ecosystem, the most important challenge arises from the tension between the role expected of the State and the distrust of the State. For example: we are concerned about the accumulation of data by private intermediaries. Should we then give surveillance tools to governments that have also abused their powers of inspection and control?

In the same way, we face the question of which problems we must resolve through the regulatory channel and which should be channeled through private or self-regulatory solutions.

Why is the digital rights context in Latin America unique?

Unlike other regions, and as is usual in our part of the world, Latin America tries to build all the floors of the house simultaneously -and often we start one without finishing the other.

We face questions about digital rights when we still have enormous challenges in terms of infrastructure, connectivity and digital literacy. Think, for example, of network neutrality. When we were still trying to guarantee this principle of public policy in fixed-line connections, the mobile Internet began to develop—and with it the consequent problem of ‘zero rating’. Our context is unique because we coexist and promote changes amid deep contrasts.

To learn more about Indela, visit our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Announcing the projects selected for Indela’s first Open Call

The Initiative for Digital Rights in Latin America (Indela) gladly announces the eight projects that have been selected in our first Open Call. Indela is a partnership strategically directed by Fundación Avina, Luminate and Open Society Foundations and supported by the Ford Foundation and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

We are very proud to support these innovative projects that will foster and protect digital rights in Latin America—such as freedom of expression, privacy, and access to knowledge— through public campaigns, impact work, applied research, and litigation.

Eight projects were selected out of 163 proposals from 20 Latin American countries. These projects will receive funding for 12 to 18 months (with possibility of extension), as well as specialized support to strengthen capacities associated with their projects.

Here are the selected projects and organizations:

  • “Defending freedom of expression on the internet: online transparency and due process in view of censorship by content removal” by Article 19 Mexico and Central America is focused on Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean Islands. Its purpose is to stop the State from removing content as a censorship practice and to have intermediaries link their policies and practices to human rights standards.
  • “Electoral transparency: technology, safety, and regulation for speech in the electoral process” by the Karisma Foundation will focus on political parties, civil society and the media to make electoral processes in Colombia more transparent and safe. The project is based on an approach that acknowledges the importance of human rights and the responsible use of technology.
  • “Filling the gap in digital rights for vulnerable populations in Peru” by Hiperderecho will identify and create collaboration strategies to help reduce online gender violence.
  • “Incorporating safeguards, due process, and human rights standards into the use of biometric technologies for mass surveillance in Brazil” by InternetLab aims to discuss and qualify public safety policies by involving the legal community in the debate regarding due process and human rights standards in mass surveillance practices with biometric technologies in Brazil.
  • “Building capacities based on a multi-stakeholder perspective in the internet ecosystem in Central America” by IPANDETEC will foster conversations about the intersection of human rights and technology in order to improve public policies and legislation related to privacy and the freedom of expression.
  • “Access to justice for women surviving digital violence in Mexico”. With this project, Luchadoras will create tools related to fight online violence in to order to support women, policy makers, authorities, and decision makers.
  • “Strategic litigation for digital rights in Latin America”, coordinated by R3D: Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales and the Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression (CELE), aims to generate favorable precedents for defending digital rights in Latin America through litigation in national courts and international bodies.
  • “Strengthening protection of Personal Data in Paraguay among civil society: a multifaceted strategy” by TEDIC will incubate strategic litigation cases on the national and regional levels. The project will involve universities, capacity building, and ultimately foster public policies to support a strong digital rights system in Paraguay.

To learn more about Indela, our first Open Call, and the selected projects, visit our website, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Meet the Advisory Council for the first Open Call of Indela

Today we present the Advisory Council and International Observer in digital rights that will support the review and selection process of the first Open Call for projects of Indela.

The experts that will make up this panel have extensive experience at a regional level on issues related to the exercise of digital rights in Latin America, such as regulation of telecommunications, defense of human rights, and research on Internet policies, among others.

Who are they?

Adriana Labardini is a lawyer of Escuela Libre de Derecho in Mexico City, with a master’s degree (LLM) from Columbia University in New York. For four and a half years she was Commissioner at the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT), she has an extensive experience defending privacy and initiatives for inclusion & accessibility and for innovation at the regulatory agenda.

Currently, collaborates with Rhizomatica as Board member, promoting community networks and founder of Conectadas a network of women in the ICT industries working for gender equality in Mexico.

Carlos Cortés is researcher on internet policy law degree from Los Andes University, Colombia, Master Studies in ‘Communications and Media Governance’ at the London School of Economics. Cortés has advised international cooperation organizations, was Twitter’s Public Policy manager for Latin America and founded the think-tank Linterna Verde, a consultancy on internet and society issues.

Paulina Gutiérrez is an international human rights lawyer, focused on privacy, intellectual property and the Inter American Human Rights System and an Internet activist. She worked for twelve years working on human rights policy research, human rights violations legal advisory, freedom of expression and gender issues. Former Digital Rights Programme Officer at ARTICLE19 Mexico and Central America Office, where she developed the digital rights agenda. Currently, member of BENETECH’s Human Rights Program Advisory Board.

Ramiro Álvarez Ugarte holds a LLM degree at Columbia Law School, currently he is an Associate Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Buenos Aires and of Law and Social Change at the University of Palermo in Argentina. He has worked as lawyer at the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights and at the Association for Civil Rights in Argentina.

Besides the four experts that are part of the panel, Guilherme Canela will participate as International Observer.

Guilherme is an Adviser for UNESCO in Communication and Information for Mercosur, Chile and Andean countries and regional coordinator of the Initiative for the Promotion of Democracy and Freedom of Expression in judicial systems in Latin America. He is also Secretary to the Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Committee of the Memory of the World Programme. He has a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Brasília (UnB) and a Master’s Degree on Political Science from the University of São Paulo.

Visit our website and learn how to participate in our first Open Call, follow us on Facebook y Twitter.

Everything you need to know about the first open call for Indela

With the goal of strengthening the digital rights ecosystem in the region, the Initiative for Digital Rights in Latin America (Indela) today launches its first open call to select projects for 2019. Under the strategic leadership of Fundación Avina, Luminate and Open Society Foundations, and with the support of Ford Foundation and the International Development Research Center (IDRC), Indela will invest US $1.5 million between 2019 and 2021.

Through financing, technical assistance and training, Indela seeks to support projects dedicated to the freedom of expression, privacy, and access to information, with a focus on public campaigns, applied research, and advocacy and litigation, on both national and regional scales.

The open call starts today, February 27, and runs through March 31, 2019. Digital rights organizations based in any Latin American country are eligible to participate for funding up to a maximum US $75,000. To begin the process, enter here.

All project proposals will be evaluated by the Organizing Committee, which is made up of representatives from Fundación Avina, Luminate and Open Society Foundations, with input from a panel of digital rights experts. We’ll list the participants soon!

In the event that two or more organizations apply in partnership, only one organization will receive funding, and will be responsible for the distribution of funds to its partners.

To learn more about Indela, visit our website y follow us on Facebook y Twitter.

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