From Conquest to Constitutions: Retrieving a Latin American Tradition of the Idea of Human Rights

The article explores the historical roots of the Latin American region's strong commitment to the idea of universal human rights, focusing on four key intellectual moments: the ethical response to the Spanish conquest; the rights ideology of the continent's liberal republican revolutions; the articulation of social and economic rights in the Mexican Constitution of 1917; and the Latin American contributions to the genesis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Constructing a narrative from these examples, the article argues for the recognition of a distinct Latin American tradition within the global discourse of human rights.