Human Rights Regimes in the Americas

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Human Rights Regimes in the Americas examines the complex role of human rights norms and standards in the region’s progression, illustrating the evolution and impact of international conventions, laws and institutions. The chapters combine historical detail with a focus on presentday challenges for the regional and domestic human rights regimes, highlighting particular obstacles, successful approaches and strategies. Taking the reader through cases in North, Central and South America, the volume provides a rich account of the evolving regional environment for rights protection and promotion, which will be of particular interest to scholars of politics, human rights and law, as well as policymakers and practitioners at all levels.



Human rights and the state in Latin America

In one of those extraordinary coincidences that suggest a rich vein of irony runs through history, on 10 December 2006, International Human Rights Day, General Augusto Pinochet, who ruled Chile with an iron fist from 1973 to 1990, passed away. Pinochet’s government engaged in some of the worst human rights violations committed by the region’s bureaucratic-authoritarian regimes in the 1970s and 1980s. In turn, the way that the successor democratic governments, from the 1990s to today, handled that legacy provides a succinct catalogue of the difficult dilemmas faced by new democracies as they deal with an evil past. The purpose of this chapter is to provide some partial and limited observations on the evolution of human rights regimes in the context of changing conceptions of the state, with a special focus on Latin America in general and on Chile in particular, where developments have arguably had a significant impact on international human rights law.


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