Addressing the Crimes of Torture and Enforced Disappearances in Latin America: Achievements and Challenges from a Human Rights Perspective
Mateo Corrales Hoyos
Global Politics Review
Vol. 5, no. 1-2 (2019): 50-62.
GPR ID: 2464-9929_v05_i1-2_p050
Received: February 2, 2019. Accepted: April 20, 2019. Published: May 19, 2019.
ABSTRACT: Latin American states suffered from widespread crimes of torture and enforced disappearances during the second half of the twentieth century. In the 1980s, the region has transitioned from ignoring international legal obligations, including human rights, to abiding by them. This paper assesses the role of international human rights law in shifting state compliance and state behavior in relation to crimes of torture and enforced disappearances in Latin America. To do so, the article refers to international and regional conventions, customary international law, as well as landmark court cases. It displays empirical evidence on how different international and regional systems have aided domestic efforts to address these two crimes. The main finding of this research is that the existing human rights system cannot sufficiently address gross violations of torture and enforced disappearances if it is left to either international or domestic forms of pressure. Instead, a complex interaction of treaties, case law, laws and state pressure at the international, regional and domestic levels are all necessary conditions to shift state behavior with respect to human rights.
Keywords: Human Rights, Crime of Torture, Enforced Disappearances, Latin America, International Law, Customary International Law.