3 QUESTIONS FOR Luis Moreno Ocampo

Americas Quarterly, Spring 2011 | Go to article overview

3 QUESTIONS FOR Luis Moreno Ocampo


Famed Argentine prosecutor of Argentina's military junta in 1985. Currently chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

1When you were involved in the trials of the military, would you have predicted that Latin America would look as it does today? In 1985, as a deputy prosecutor in the trials against the military juntas [which governed from 1977 to 1983], I learned how the crimes were committed. I learned how the Cold War produced thousands of killings in Argentina and in South America in general. How Cuba trained guerrillas, how the national army supported by U.S. ideology was attempting to destroy them and how this transformed South America in the 1970s and 1980s into a battlefi eld. In addition, this bloody part of the Cold War affected the already- precarious judicial and police systems in the region. Interestingly, during the 1980s, starting with the military junta trials, this began to change. U.S. scholar Kathryn Sikkink has shown how the process of seeking redress for past human rights abuses spread across the region. As a result, Latin America became a model for the world in terms of how to address past human rights abuses and torture. Then the world changed. The Cold War ended, a new wave of democratization swept through the region, and massive human rights abuses and statesponsored violence almost ceased to exist. This dramatic improvement stems in large part from the Organization of American States' Inter- American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Human Rights System. Sure, there are still pockets of problems, and my concern is that we haven't learned how to do better, how to translate these gains into a global idea to address ongoing problems. …

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3 QUESTIONS FOR Luis Moreno Ocampo
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