America

Brazil’s clandestine mass grave in Perus (São Paulo)

Oct 15th, 2018 | By

In 1990, a clandestine mass grave with 1.049 unidentified mortal remains was found at the Dom Bosco Cemetery located in Perus, a suburban district of the city of São Paulo. It represents one of the innumerous crimes committed by the Brazilian dictatorial regime, which emerged with the military coup d’état in 1964 and lasted until 1985. The discovery of the Vala Clandestina de Perus (Perus illegal ditch), as it came to be known, was possible due to the courage and perseverance of a few individual persons.



The Molina Theissen case

Aug 20th, 2018 | By

Guatemala is the country with the highest number of victims of enforced disappearance in Latin America. As a result of the repression during the internal armed conflict (1960-1996), around 45,000 people were disappeared. Despite this large number, only a few cases have been investigated and prosecuted. In her article Gretel Alexandra Mejía Bonifazi reports the remarkable example of the Molina Theissen family in the search for truth and justice.



The Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ report on the Herzog Case: A reflection on the tortuous way for the right to memory and truth and on the absence of justice in Brazil

Aug 1st, 2018 | By

To convict the responsible state’s authorities for perpetrating human rights violations is extremely necessary for dealing with the past, overcoming the legacy of authoritarianism and strengthening democracy. Brazil has not addressed this challenge the best it should yet.  Lanaís de Castro gives us in her article an overview about the right to the truth and memory

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Is providing humanitarian assistance a crime?

May 15th, 2018 | By

The right to water is recognized in international legal instruments, as part of the most basic requirements for sustaining the live and dignity of persons. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, the destruction of water supplies is considered a denial of humanitarian assistance.



Disputes over Genetically Modified Maize in Mexico from the Perspective of the Human Right to Food

Mar 7th, 2016 | By

Mexico is fighting a fierce battle over the cultivation of genetically modified maize. With maize being the main food source and having deep cultural meanings, Mexican civil society is concerned about its biodiversity, possible risks to human health and access to food.



Dealing with Torture in Chile Achievements and Shortcomings of the “Valech Report”

Jun 3rd, 2005 | By

by Roberta Bacic and Elizabeth Stanley

Until the establishment of the Comisión Nacional Sobre Prisión Polí­tica y Tortura (National Commission for Political Imprisonment and Torture, hereafter the Comisión), the issues of political imprisonment and torture had been neglected in Chile. This is not to say that there has been no movement at all on the issue. In 1991, the Rettig Report acknowledged torture as a recurrent and institutionalised event, and torture was shown to have preceded most of the executions and ‘disappearances’ of victims. Further, in the transition from dictatorship, some torture survivors have been able to receive personal medical assistance from the Government, others were able to regain their civil rights by challenging official documentation that presented them as criminals, while some have been accepted as viable witnesses in human rights court cases. However, these rights were hard to attain and, at an official level, those who survived imprisonment and torture were not generally acknowledged. […]



The Love of the Grandmothers

Apr 12th, 2002 | By

by José Miguez Bonino

A search like many others … and yet with a difference

One of the most infamous chapters in the “Book of Terror” written by our century is the story of the people who disappeared during the military dictatorship in Argentina. In the twenty-three years which have passed since the start of that dictatorship and today, hundreds of thousands of Argentinians have taken to the streets demanding “truth, justice and punishment of the culprits”. […]