New York Times editorial weighs Argentina for human rights advances
September 16, 2011
The report, by Kathryn Sikkink a political science professor at Minnesota University titled “It has ran out of time to tyrants” developed countries around the world and had made progress in human rights matters unpublished cases of prosecution for those who had committed “crimes against humanity. “ Stresses that this process not seen since the Nuremberg trials in 1949. In turn explains that contrary to popular belief progress in human rights has not caused problems in democratic regimes, on the contrary, it seems that strengthens democracy even to neighboring countries where it is reflected a decline in authoritarianism or repressive practices.
Thus taken as prominent examples in Latin America: “In Latin America, military youth wing only have to look Argentinaand to Chile, countries in which, respectively, 81 and 66 people were convicted of crimes during previous dictatorships to learn lesson that the chances of punishment are greater now than in the past.This may explain why coups are now so rare in this region. ”
He added that “almost all the leaders, when faced with an order of the day, try to turn the page and look to the future. But the demands of justice are very robust and the countries that made their former leaders responsible for episodes occurred, have emerged with greater strength. ”
“The trials of repressors seem to have a deterrent effect beyond the borders. If a number of countries in a region engage in these processes, the neighboring nations also typically show a decrease in the level of repression, but had not entered into trials, “said the editorial.
The report says that “the historical evidence and statistics give us reason to question the critics of the trials for human rights violations.”
“My research, said the specialist, shows that countries in transition, moving from authoritarian to democratic governments, or civil war to peace, where there were prosecutions for violation of human rights eventually became less repressive thantransitional nations without those judgments. ”
In this connection, he highlighted that “if we compare countries like Argentina and Chile, which used the processing for human rights, with Brazil, which did not, I find that the processing is not exacerbated the human rights violations, nor did they threaten democracy or led to more violence. ”
Then “the possibility of punishment and disgrace of the oppressors, make the human rights violations in episodes more expensive, and therefore discouraged in the future who want to engage in them.”
“Since the end of Nuremberg trials in 1949 until the mid-seventies, there was virtually no possibility that the heads of state or government officials were found responsible for violating human rights” recalls the author of the report.
Sikkink concluded: “In the past two decades, the possibility of increased penalties and new government officials certainly will be more careful before deciding to kill or torture their political opponents.”