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Post-transitional Justice

Human Rights Trials in Chile and El Salvador

Cath Collins

Publication Year: 2010

Published by: Penn State University Press

Front Cover

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Title Page

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pp. iii


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pp. iv


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pp. vii


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pp. ix-x

Acronyms and Abbreviations

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pp. xi-xiii

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pp. 1-6

International Human Rights Day, December 10, will forever carry a peculiar charge for many observers of Latin American affairs, since it now marks the anniversary of the 2006 death of former Chilean military strongman Augusto Pinochet. Although never formally convicted of a crime, the archetypal and once all-powerful Latin American dictator died while under investigation...

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1. Transitional Justice: Why We Need a New Framework

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pp. 7-20

This book argues that an analytical framework of “post-transitional justice,” outlined in the following chapter, better explains the presence, absence, persistence, or renewal of accountability claims in post-transitional societies than does the preceding “transitional justice” school of thought. To explain why a new approach is needed, and to examine the roots of judicialized...

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2. Post-Transitional Justice

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pp. 21-35

The resurgence of attempted claim-making over past HRVs in the late 1990s calls into question some of the central tenets of the transitional justice school, in particular the expectation of definitive closure of the accountability question by amnesty. Events, as much as theory, suggest the need for a new conceptual approach if recent...

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3. Studying Post-Transitional Justice

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pp. 36-60

In the previous chapter it was proposed that the closure of state transitional justice initiatives by amnesty gives way to post-transitional justice, a qualitatively distinct phase in the accountability debate. The present chapter sets out in more detail the theoretical and methodological approach put forward for studying post-transitional justice in national settings. It is suggested...

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4. Chile’s Human Rights Challenge: The Pinochet Years

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pp. 61-76

This chapter traces the outlines of human rights–related experiences and organizing in Chile during dictatorship and through the early transitional period. Dictatorship-era patterns of repression, organized response, and the legal strategies that lawyers and HROs evolved to combat HRVs are examined, since chapter 5 will demonstrate the importance of these early experiences...

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5. No One Writes to the General: Post-Transitional Justice in Chile

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pp. 77-148

It is tempting to read the dramatic Pinochet arrest of late 1998 as a bolt from the blue, an external and wholly unexpected lightning strike bringing a dormant domestic accountability debate back to life. Although the unexpectedness of events in Spain and London is beyond question, it will be argued here, however, that the undoubted post-1998 transformation of the Chilean accountability scene...

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6. El Salvador’s Long War

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pp. 149-167

El Salvador was ruled for much of the twentieth century by an oligarchy that, according to James Dunkerley, “has a good claim to be one of the . . . most pugnacious and reactionary in the world.”1 Left-wing guerrilla groups emerged in the late 1970s in response to this exclusionary tradition; the regime under which massive HRVs were carried out in El Salvador...

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7. Changing to Stay the Same: Post-Transitional Justice in El Salvador

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pp. 168-208

This chapter examines the principal features of El Salvador’s post-transitional accountability trajectory. The first section deals in turn with two chronological periods: 1994–97, and 1998 onward. Each represents a recognizable phase in the accountability trajectory of El Salvador after the peace accords. During the first phase accountability actors...

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8. Comparative Analysis and Conclusions

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pp. 209-224

This book has shown how the adoption of a new conceptual framework, that of post-transitional justice, seems to offer improved prospects for understanding current patterns of change and stasis with regard to transitional human rights settlements in Latin America. The framework has been applied to particular country cases to examine how, and under...

Appendix A: Transitional Justice in Selected Latin American Countries

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pp. 225-234

Appendix B: List of Interviews

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pp. 235-243


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pp. 245-263


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pp. 265-277

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780271053479
E-ISBN-10: 027105347x
Print-ISBN-13: 9780271036885
Print-ISBN-10: 0271036885

Page Count: 296
Illustrations: 4 charts/graphs, 3 tables
Publication Year: 2010