Deepening the Response to Authoritarian Information Operations in Latin America

November 28, 2023
11:00 am - 12:00 pm



About the event

Authoritarian governments are escalating their efforts to manipulate the information ecosystem globally in order to undermine democratic institutions, advance their own interests, and buttress their autocratic allies. In Latin American information spaces, regional authoritarian actors are increasingly collaborating with global allies such as Russia and China to amplify messaging harmful to democratic institutions. Given this collaboration, what should the democracy support community understand about the nature of these attacks, how they are evolving, and how they impact democracy? What is the state of the civil society-led response in the region and how might it adapt to more effectively address evolving challenges?

The International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy hosted the launch of a new report examining civil society’s response to the intensification of authoritarian information manipulation targeting democracy in Latin America. Authors Iria Puyosa (Atlantic Council DFRLab) and Mariví Marín Vázquez (ProBox), editor Adam Fivenson (IFDS), and commentator Fabiola Córdova (NED) discussed key takeaways from the International Forum for Democratic Studies’ latest report: Deepening the Response to Authoritarian Information Operations in Latin America. Journalist and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Distinguished Fellow Moisés Naím moderated the discussion.

about the speakers

Moisés Naím is a distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a best-selling author, and an internationally syndicated columnist. He is the host and producer of Emmy-award winning Efecto Naím and author of more than ten books on international affairs. He was Venezuela’s Minister of Development, director of its central bank, and an executive director at the World Bank. From 1996 to 2010, he was the editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine.

Iria Puyosa is a senior researcher at the Democracy + Technology Initiative at DFRLab. Puyosa’s expertise extends to social media’s impact on political conflicts and the study of international information operations undermining democracy. She also works on cyber sovereignty, internet fragmentation, data protection, and state surveillance. She holds a PhD from the University of Michigan, a master’s from the Andrés Bello Catholic University, and a bachelor’s from the Central University of Venezuela.

Mariví  Marín Vázquez is the founder and executive director of ProBox, a non-profit organization dedicated to studying political and social trends on Twitter (now X) in Latin America, especially in Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. ProBox’s findings have been used by international media and organizations such as Carter Center, BBC, DW, CNN Business, and others. Marín holds a degree in political and administrative sciences from the Universidad Central de Venezuela.

Adam Fivenson serves as Senior Program Officer for Information Space Integrity within the International Forum for Democratic Studies, where he conducts research on authoritarian information operations and proactive, civil society-led responses. Previously he advised democratic governments, social enterprises, and non-profits on communication and technology strategy and implementation and served as Adjunct Professor at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.

Fabiola Cordova is Deputy Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the National Endowment for Democracy. She previously worked at the National Democratic Institute, where she managed projects focusing on election observation and political party strengthening. Ms. Córdova holds a BA in international relations and foreign languages from Clark University, and an MPA from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

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