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The Open Society Foundations in Latin America and the Caribbean

Open Society started supporting civil society groups in Latin America and the Caribbean in the 1990s. In the years that followed, we established regional offices in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. Our efforts are shaped by Open Society’s belief that democracy needs to involve the active and inclusive participation of all people, and that they have the right to be involved at all levels of decision-making. We seek to bolster democratic change by transforming growing public concern about inequality, corruption, violence, and the climate crisis into powerful initiatives and alliances to build open and safe societies.

Infographic showing expenditures for Open Society in Latin America

Nine Facts about Latin America and the Open Society Foundations

  1. Open Society responded to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 with over $21 million in support for the urgent needs of the region’s most vulnerable populations.
  2. In 2020, after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we supported a successful drive by groups representing Brazil’s Black communities for the introduction of emergency universal basic income payments that benefited over 30 million vulnerable people.
  3. In response to a surge of migration from Venezuela, Open Society supported the government of Colombia in developing policies that provided more than 500,000 displaced Venezuelans living in Colombia with legal status and access to social benefits.
  4. In response to the devastating 2018 murder of Brazil’s Marielle Franco, the only black woman on Rio de Janeiro’s city council, Open Society committed $1.25 million to establish the Marielle Franco Initiative to preserve her legacy as a Black, LGBTQI, and feminist leader, and to support Black women in politics and policymaking in Brazil.
  5. Open Society has invested over $12 million in the Caribbean to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis, advance rights-respecting sustainable development, and address the severe effects of the COVID-19 crisis.
  6. Open Society continues to support innovative efforts to reduce violence and homicides across Latin America, the world’s most violent region. In Brazil, two years after Open Society helped to launch an integrated, evidence-based public security plan in the city of Pelotas, the number of killings in the city had dropped by over 40 percent.
  7. In the Amazon region, Open Society has supported more than 100 groups representing urban Afro-Brazilians, Quilombolas, and Indigenous communities in their efforts to curb deforestation and secure inclusive economic and social policies for cities.
  8. In 2018, in collaboration with Luminate and the Avina Foundation, Open Society launched Pulsante, a $3 million multi-donor fund to create more opportunities for citizens across the region to participate in the decisions that impact their lives.
  9. Open Society’s support for independent and open journalism in countries including Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela has been crucial to exposing abuse of power, corporate wrongdoing, and corruption scandals that undermine democratic values and institutions.


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