Writing in Real Clear Politics, Mario H. Lopez, president of the Hispanic Leadership Fund, criticized the Biden Administration’s “inconsistent approach” toward human rights and democracy in Latin America, and especially the Dominican Republic.

In the Dominican Republic, the Biden Administration has remained silent as the Dominican judicial system keeps thousands of people locked behind bars for years at a time and often without charge under preventive detention, a practice Lopez calls “long-condemned” and “a tactic of failed justice systems that are rife with politicization and corruption.”

Lopez highlights that “ 70% of people in Dominican prisons are being held on a preventive basis, often without seeing the inside of a court room” – a clear violation of the Dominican constitution, the Organization of American States’ American Convention on Human Rights, and the United Nations Nelson Mandela Rules.

Although democratic backsliding towards authoritarianism is a problem throughout Latin America, Lopez underscores that to date, neither Secretary Blinken nor President Biden has condemned the deteriorating state of the rule of law in the Dominican Republic.

Read Mario Lopez’s full op-ed in Real Clear Politics here.