When States Kill

Author: Cecilia Menjívar
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292778503
Size: 72.45 MB
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Since the early twentieth century, technological transfers from the United States to Latin American countries have involved technologies of violence for social control. As the chapters in this book illustrate, these technological transfers have taken various forms, including the training of Latin American military personnel in surveillance and torture and the provision of political and logistic support for campaigns of state terror. The human cost for Latin America has been enormous—thousands of Latin Americans have been murdered, disappeared, or tortured, and whole communities have been terrorized into silence. Organized by region, the essays in this book address the topic of state-sponsored terrorism in a variety of ways. Most take the perspective that state-directed political violence is a modern development of a regional political structure in which U.S. political interests weigh heavily. Others acknowledge that Latin American states enthusiastically received U.S. support for their campaigns of terror. A few see local culture and history as key factors in the implementation of state campaigns of political violence. Together, all the essays exemplify how technologies of terror have been transferred among various Latin American countries, with particular attention to the role that the United States, as a "strong" state, has played in such transfers.

State Terrorism In Latin America

Author: Thomas C. Wright
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780742537217
Size: 71.83 MB
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Examines the tragic development and resolution of Latin America's human rights crisis of the 1970s and 1980s. Focusing on state terrorism in Chile under General Augusto Pinochet and in Argentina during the Dirty War (1976-1983), this book offers an exploration of the reciprocal relationship between Argentina and Chile and human rights movements.

A History Of Political Murder In Latin America

Author: W. John Green
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 1438456638
Size: 47.66 MB
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A sweeping study of political murder in Latin America. This sweeping history depicts Latin America’s pan-regional culture of political murder. Unlike typical studies of the region, which often focus on the issues or trends of individual countries, this work focuses thematically on the nature of political murder itself, comparing and contrasting its uses and practices throughout the region. W. John Green examines the entire system of political murder: the methods and justifications the perpetrators employ, the victims, and the consequences for Latin American societies. Green demonstrates that elite and state actors have been responsible for most political murders, assassinating the leaders of popular movements and other messengers of change. Latin American elites have also often targeted the potential audience for these messages through the region’s various “dirty wars.” In spite of regional differences, elites across the region have displayed considerable uniformity in justifying their use of murder, imagining themselves in a class war with democratic forces. While the United States has often been complicit in such violence, Green notes that this has not been universally true, with US support waxing and waning. A detailed appendix, exploring political murder country by country, provides an additional resource for readers.

Predatory States

Author: J. Patrice McSherry
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
ISBN: 0742568709
Size: 48.16 MB
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This powerful work makes a compelling case that U.S. forces secretly condoned and assisted the implementation of Operation Condor, a covert Latin American military network created during the Cold War to facilitate the seizure and murder of political opponents across state borders. Drawing on a wealth of primary sources, J. Patrice McSherry provides a hidden history of the Cold War through her analysis of the intelligence networks, security structures, coordinated operations, and international connections of Condor. Revealing new details of Condor operations and fresh evidence of links to the U.S. security establishment, this controversial work offers an original analysis of the use of secret, parallel armies in Western counterinsurgency strategies. It will be a clarion call to all readers to consider the long-term consequences of clandestine operations in the name of 'democracy.'

Cocaine Death Squads And The War On Terror

Author: Oliver Villar
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1583673075
Size: 46.38 MB
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Since the late 1990s, the United States has funneled billions of dollars in aid to Colombia, ostensibly to combat the illicit drug trade and State Department-designated terrorist groups. The result has been a spiral of violence that continues to take lives and destabilize Colombian society. This book asks an obvious question: are the official reasons given for the wars on drugs and terror in Colombia plausible, or are there other, deeper factors at work? Scholars Villar and Cottle suggest that the answers lie in a close examination of the cocaine trade, particularly its class dimensions. Their analysis reveals that this trade has fueled extensive economic growth and led to the development of a "narco-state" under the control of a "narco-bourgeoisie" which is not interested in eradicating cocaine but in gaining a monopoly over its production. The principal target of this effort is the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), who challenge that monopoly as well as the very existence of the Colombian state. Meanwhile, U.S. business interests likewise gain from the cocaine trade and seek to maintain a dominant, imperialist relationship with their most important client state in Latin America. Suffering the brutal consequences, as always, are the peasants and workers of Colombia. This revelatory book punctures the official propaganda and shows the class war underpinning the politics of the Colombian cocaine trade.

Violence At The Urban Margins

Author: Javier Auyero
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190221488
Size: 18.69 MB
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In the Americas, debates around issues of citizen's public safety--from debates that erupt after highly publicized events, such as the shootings of Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin, to those that recurrently dominate the airwaves in Latin America--are dominated by members of the middle and upper-middle classes. However, a cursory count of the victims of urban violence in the Americas reveals that the people suffering the most from violence live, and die, at the lowest of the socio-symbolic order, at the margins of urban societies. The inhabitants of the urban margins are hardly ever heard in discussions about public safety. They live in danger but the discourse about violence and risk belongs to, is manufactured and manipulated by, others--others who are prone to view violence at the urban margins as evidence of a cultural, or racial, defect, rather than question violence's relationship to economic and political marginalization. As a result, the experience of interpersonal violence among the urban poor becomes something unspeakable, and the everyday fear and trauma lived in relegated territories is constantly muted and denied. This edited volume seeks to counteract this pernicious tendency by putting under the ethnographic microscope--and making public--the way in which violence is lived and acted upon in the urban peripheries. It features cutting-edge ethnographic research on the role of violence in the lives of the urban poor in South, Central, and North America, and sheds light on the suffering that violence produces and perpetuates, as well as the individual and collective responses that violence generates, among those living at the urban margins of the Americas.

The Last Colonial Massacre

Author: Greg Grandin
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226306909
Size: 51.15 MB
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After decades of bloodshed and political terror, many lament the rise of the left in Latin America. Since the triumph of Castro, politicians and historians have accused the left there of rejecting democracy, embracing communist totalitarianism, and prompting both revolutionary violence and a right-wing backlash. Through unprecedented archival research and gripping personal testimonies, Greg Grandin powerfully challenges these views in this classic work. In doing so, he uncovers the hidden history of the Latin American Cold War: of hidebound reactionaries holding on to their power and privilege; of Mayan Marxists blending indigenous notions of justice with universal ideas of equality; and of a United States supporting new styles of state terror throughout the region. With Guatemala as his case study, Grandin argues that the Latin American Cold War was a struggle not between political liberalism and Soviet communism but two visions of democracy—one vibrant and egalitarian, the other tepid and unequal—and that the conflict’s main effect was to eliminate homegrown notions of social democracy. Updated with a new preface by the author and an interview with Naomi Klein, The Last Colonial Massacre is history of the highest order—a work that will dramatically recast our understanding of Latin American politics and the role of the United States in the Cold War and beyond. “This work admirably explains the process in which hopes of democracy were brutally repressed in Guatemala and its people experienced a civil war lasting for half a century.”—International History Review “A richly detailed, humane, and passionately subversive portrait of inspiring reformers tragically redefined by the Cold War as enemies of the state.”—Journal of American History

Masters Of War

Author: Clara Nieto
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
ISBN: 1609800494
Size: 22.57 MB
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In Masters of War, Clara Nieto adeptly presents the parallel histories of the countries of Latin America, histories that are intertwined, each reflecting the United States’ "coherent policy of intervention" set into motion by the Monroe Doctrine. As the value of this continued policy comes increasingly into question, Nieto argues for the need to evaluate the alarming precedent set in Latin America: the institution of client dictatorships, the roles played by the interests of U.S. corporations, the enormous tolls taken on civilian populations, and the irreversible disruption of regional stability. Drawing from an impressive array of documents and sources as well as from her unique first-hand insights as a participant in crucial meetings and negotiations in the region from the mid-1960s through the mid-1980s, Nieto chronicles the Cuban Revolution, the CIA-sponsored coup against popularly elected President Allende in Chile, the U.S. invasions of Panama and Grenada, U.S. support for the cultivation and training of paramilitary death squads in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Colombia, as well as similarly severe but less well-known situations in other countries such as Uruguay, Venezuela, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Honduras, and Guatemala. Masters of War offers, from an informed perspective, perhaps for the first time, a distanced, objective analysis of recent Latin American history. Clara Nieto’s depth of knowledge and understanding is an invaluable resource at a time when the media is seen as unapologetically aligned with the interests of major corporations and policymakers, and the American public has reached a new height of apprehension regarding the intentions behind and consequences of its government’s policies.

The Abu Ghraib Effect

Author: Stephen F. Eisenman
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 1861895550
Size: 68.49 MB
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The photographs of torture at Abu Ghraib prison aroused worldwide condemnation—or did they? Opinion polls showed that most citizens of the United States were unmoved by the images. One reason for this relative lack of a public outcry may be the nature of the Abu Ghraib pictures themselves and what Stephen F. Eisenman terms “the Abu Ghraib effect.” By showing prisoners engaging in sexual acts, Eisenman asserts, the photos make the men look like enthusiastic participants in their own interrogation and torture. Further, these scenes repeat an ancient stereotype: the “pathos formula,” in which victims of war are shown welcoming their own punishment. In this highly original analysis, Eisenman shows the pathos formula at work in the Abu Ghraib photos, and he describes its long history, exploring the motif’s appearance in imperial Greek and Roman Art, in the sculpture and painting of Michelangelo, and in Baroque paintings of saints and martyrs. The author also describes the equally long history of artistic protest against the formula by such diverse artists as William Hogarth, Francisco Goya, Pablo Picasso, Ben Shahn, and Leon Golub. The Abu Ghraib Effect reveals how the pathos formula has dulled public responses to images of torture, and also urges a more effective use of political images in the fight against the so-called “war on terror.” “Eisenman’s concepts and questions constitute a challenging discourse on politics and art.” —Art in America “This brilliantly argued volume should be read by all art historians.”—Art Book “The Abu Ghraib Effect . . . traverses revolutionary terrain in its unraveling of the function of artistic metaphor in the justification of imperialist power.” —Media–Culture Review

State Terrorism And The United States

Author: Frederick Henry Gareau
Publisher: Zed Books
ISBN: 9781842775356
Size: 62.66 MB
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This is a chilling analysis of the immediate predecessor of the US war on terrorism: its counter-insurgency policy during the Cold War. The US promised a low level response uniquely tailored to assisting third world states to respond to local insurgencies seeking social change. Drawing on the reports of Truth Commissions from six countries, Guatemala, El Salvador, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, and Indonesia, Frederick Gareau examines a harrowing array of human rights abuses by US-supported dictators, governments and paramilitary groups against their own peoples. He shows that state and para-statal forces committed by far the greatest proportion of violence, and that these state repressions were perpetrated with Washington's full awareness, complicity, and military and politico-diplomatic support, if not at its instigation.