A graphic and horrifying report of human rights violations by the military dictatorship in Uruguay from 1973 to 1985
Uruguay Nunca Más
Human Rights Violations, 1972-1985
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Servicio Paz y Justicia, translated by Elizabeth Hampsten, introduction by Lawrence Wechsler
Based on hundreds of interviews, a survey of ex-prisoners, and published testimonials, Uruguay Nunca Más documents the atrocities that were committed during the military dictatorship in Uruguay from 1973 to 1985. The organization Servicio Paz y Justicia-Uruguay (SERPAJ) traces the various stages that Uruguay's military government passed through in its twelve years in power, noting the progressive distortion of the legislative judicial, and executive branches. Detailing the means by which civil liberties were abrogated by the repressive regime, this report examines how the Doctrine of National Security affected daily life in a country that had been hailed as "the Switzerland of America."
Unlike the bloody, highly publicized events in Chile and Argentina, the hushed repression in Uruguay was carried out with unprecedented sophistication. Describing some twenty forms of torture, disappearances, and other mechanisms of repression, Uruguay Nunca Más documents how the population at large was subjected to abuse, terror, and lies, amid economic depression and social upheaval. This disturbing report by SERPAJ cites as its purpose the words of George Santayana: "Those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat it." It should serve as a cautionary lesson for citizens in any democracy.
Part I: The Historical Process
Part II: The Practice of State Terrorism
Part III: Beyond Prison
Epilogue: Final Words
Servicio Paz y JusticiaUruguay is a team of Lawyers, doctors, and human rights specialists dedicated to the preservation of human rights in Uruguay.
Elizabeth Hampsten is Associate Professor of English at the University of North Dakota.