Legacies of State Violence and Transitional Justice in Latin America presents a nuanced and evidence-based discussion of both the acceptance and co-optation of the transitional justice framework and its potential abuses in the context of the struggle to keep the memory of the past alive and hold perpetrators accountable within Latin America and beyond. The contributors argue that “transitional justice”understood as both a conceptual framework shaping discourses and a set of political practicesis a Janus-faced paradigm. Historically it has not always advanced but often hindered attempts to achieve historical memory and seek truth and justice. This raises the vital question: what other theoretical frameworks can best capture legacies of human rights crimes? Providing a historical view of current developments in Latin America’s reckoning processes, Legacies of State Violence and Transitional Justice in Latin America reflects on the meaning of the paradigm’s reception: what are the broader political and social consequences of supporting, appropriating, or rejecting the transitional justice paradigm?
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About the Author
Nina Schneider is a visiting scholar at the National University of Brasília, a research fellow at the Global South Study Center (GSSC) at the University of Cologne, and an associate fellow of the Zukunftskolleg at the University of Konstanz.
Marcia Esparza is associate professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, founder and co-director of the Historical Memory Project (HMP), andvisiting scholar of the Zukunftskolleg at the University of Konstanz.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Whose Transition? Whose Voices?: Latin American Responses to Transitional Justice, Nina Schneider and Marcia Esparza
Part I. Argentina
Chapter 1: “What Do You Mean by Transitional Justice?”: Local Perspectives on Human Rights Trials in Argentina, Rosario Figari Layús
Part II. Brazil
Chapter 2: The Scope and Limits of the Discourse on “Transitional Justice” in Brazil, Edson Teles and Renan H. Quinalha
Chapter 3: Transitional Justice from the Margins: Legal Mobilization and Memory Politics in Brazil, Cecília MacDowell Santos
Part III. El Salvador
Chapter 4: Toward Reconsidering the Root Causes of Violence: Free Trade, Mining, and Transitional Justice in Central America, Steve Dobransky
Part IV. Peru
Chapter 5: First Empowerment, then Disillusion: The Ambivalent Legacy of the Transitional Justice Framework in Local Peru, Laura Tejero Tabernero
Chapter 6: How Transitional is Justice?: Peru’s Post-Conflict Revisited, José Pablo Baraybar, Jesús Peña, and Percy Rojas
Part V. Uruguay
Chapter 7: Uruguay and the Reconceptualization of Transitional Justice, Debbie Sharnak
Part VI. Latin America
Chapter 8: Concluding Reflections, Roberto Gargarella