Fifty years after the Uruguay coup, why so few people have been brought to justice for dictatorship crime

The Conversation,  26 June  2023, by Francesca Lessa

Uruguay marks 50 years from the beginning of its coup on June 27. On this day in 1973, President Juan Maria Bordaberry and the armed forces shut down parliament and inaugurated 12 years of state terror (1973-1985).

This anniversary offers an opportunity to reflect on why Uruguay has not brought more people to trial for human rights violationscommitted during this dictatorship.

For decades, Uruguay was known as “the Switzerland of Latin America”, given its longstanding stability and democratic traditions, and its welfare state. In 1973, little attention was initially paid to Uruguay’s regime, perhaps owing to the country’s reputation, and its geopolitical location – overshadowed by two bigger neighbours, Argentina and Brazil. That year most international attention focused on the spectacular coup against the Chilean president, Salvador Allende (…)

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