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Title: HIST 405-02, Political Violence and Truth Commissions in Latin America, Fall 2009
Authors: Hiatt, Willie
Keywords: History, Department of;Syllabus;Curriculum;Academic departments;Text;2009 Fall
Issue Date: 26-Aug-2009
Publisher: Memphis, Tenn. : Rhodes College
Series/Report no.: Syllabi CRN;10257
Abstract: This course examines truth commissions, defined by the United States Institute of Peace as “bodies established to research and report on human rights abuses over a certain period of time in a particular country or in relation to a particular conflict.” Since 1980 violent internal conflict, civil wars, and repressive police and military reprisals against perceived national-security threats have prompted large-scale investigations in several Latin American countries, including Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, and Peru. Argentina‟s 1976-1983 military dictatorship, for example, executed a “Dirty War” in which as many as 30,000 citizens died or disappeared. Both sides of conflicts – extremist guerrillas and governments – have carried out violence and committed murder. During Peru‟s 1980-2000 Shining Path revolutionary movement, state agents, self-defense groups, and paramilitary forces were responsible for nearly forty percent of 69,280 total deaths. While the Truth Commission asserted the Peruvian state‟s right to defend itself, the decision to put counterinsurgency in the hands of the military worsened the violence and resulted in its own atrocities. This course situates truth commissions within a broader history of human rights, particularly the tensions between individuals and collectivities after the advent of the modern nation-state. We focus on violence and truth commissions in three countries – Argentina, Peru, and Guatemala – and pay particular attention to the social and cultural history of these conflicts. The course concludes with contemporary debates about the United States‟ role in Latin American dirty wars, its own war on terror, and human rights in a global age.
Description: This syllabus was submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs by the course instructor
Appears in Collections:Course Syllabi

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