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Lecture 12

LACS 1002 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Estela De Carlotto, Carlos Menem, National Commission On The Disappearance Of Persons

Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Course Code
LACS 1002
Silvina Danesi

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Transitions to Democracy
Chile — Peru — Argentina
The 1980s was a period of
- civil war in Central America
- economic losses due to the debt crisis of 1982
- political gains; democratization in most countries
- military rule or dictatorship shifted to periodic and free elections = democracy
The Wave of Democratization
Late 1970s to 2000s Common Causes
- acceptance of the principles and values of democracy
- decreasing polarization; extreme left political parties (guerrilla groups) either disappeared or
transformed into centre right political parties
- oil shocks of the 1970s (triggered the debt crisis of 1982)
- international pressure of human rights organizations (particularly on Chile and Argentina)
- the end of the Cold War (the << Communist threat >> disappeared)
Transitions to Democracy
- Chile: The “Negotiated Transition”
- Peru: “Democracy, Violence and Repression”
- Argentina: The “Abrupt Transition”
Transitions to Democracy Variables
- capacity of the military to control the transition
- level of repression during the authoritarian regime
- economic performance of the authoritarian regime
- existence of domestic violence
Chile: The Negotiated Transition
- October 1988 Plebiscite: Vote Yes or No to keep Pinochet in power until 1996
- NO campaign: “Coalition of Parties for the NO” — for democracy; slogan: “Chile, happiness is
coming” “We will say NO!” “If we end the dictatorship, joy will come back to Chile”
- “SI” (Yes) campaign (military government); “Chile, the Marxists (Communists) are coming”
- NO gets 54% of the votes
- complex constitutional and political negotiations; tying-up laws “leyes de amarre”
- amnesty law: immunity from prosecution for all military officers for human rights violations
- appointed senators
- autonomy of the armed forces
- Pinochet: Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces became a Senator for life
Peru: Democracy, Violence and Repression
- 1948-56: Dictatorship of General Manuel Odria
- 1962: Presidential Elections
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