Post-Transitional Justice in Chile and El Salvador: A Comparison

1671 WordsJul 8, 20187 Pages
During the last quarter of the twentieth century, Latin America was dominated by authoritarian military regimes and immense human rights violations. Especially in Chile and El Salvador, where human rights abuses were rampant during Pinochet’s dictatorship and the Salvadoran civil war. The region is still dealing with the legacy of terror from its authoritarian past. Cath Collins, a professor and researcher in the School of Political Science at the University of Diego Portales in Santiago, Chile, runs a project mapping recent human rights trials in Chile. A recent book by Collins, Post-Transitional Justice: Human Rights Trials in Chile and El Salvador, describes the struggle to obtain justice for human rights violations in two countries…show more content…
The amnesty law of 1978 was not revoked, although, the interpretation of it began to change over the next decade. (Collins, 2010) In 1998, a breakthrough for accountability occurred when Pinochet was arrested in the United Kingdom. After 1998, Collins explains, “Judges, rather than domestic accountability actors, have played the key role in transformation of the Chilean accountability scene.” (Collins, 2010:147) In El Salvador, the Ad Hoc and United Nations truth commissions were instituted in 1992 to contribute to post-transitional justice. In the Ad Hoc commission, three Salvadoran citizens were charged with reviewing the human rights records of military officials and making recommendations for dismissal. The commission determined one hundred and three names of military officials who were involved in immense human rights violations. The United Nations sponsored truth commission’s report had a minimal impact in El Salvador. (Collins, 2010) The revelations for both commissions did not lead to trials, the recommendations were not fulfilled, and accountability was not delivered. Thus, Chile has made significant improvements to accountability when compared to El Salvador. Evaluating Collins comparison of Chile and El Salvador, it is believed that active human rights organizations during conflict will increase accountability post-transition, although, the state of
Open Document