Repression and the Discourse of Human-Rights Violations in the Southern Cone
This chapter examines the democratic breakdowns in the 1970s; the subsequent patterns of repression under authoritarian rule in Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile; and the discourse of human rights violations. The main problem in incorporating the discourse of human rights in the Southern Cone was not in the formal adoption of principles but in their implementation. During their transition to democracy, these three countries had to confront massive human rights violations including abuse of force, arbitrary imprisonment, and executions without trial. After redemocratization, the civilian governments in the Southern Cone had to confront the legacy of repressions in terms defined by the discourse of human rights, justice, and accountability. Under these conditions, the government and civil societies proved too weak to resist the demands of political contingency.
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