Week Twelve

This weeks readings and video lecture was incredibly moving. It reminded me of how important ones voice is in society. In this class we started with the studies of early colonization and the very beginnings of Latin America including the oppression of the Latin Americans and now we are finishing with Latin Americans voicing their beliefs and needs.

The cold war and the “dirty wars” created a whole new meaning to chaos in Latin America. Much of the military warriors continued to be funded by the allies in the West. This chapter focuses on those voices that began to be heard as their cry for help began to be seen globally. Dangerous authoritarian regimes came into power, often supported by its allies in the West.

Many were in a great amount of grief, as many deaths and disappearances were taking place. Many atrocities, denying basic human rights to many citizens left citizens very vulnerable within their authoritarian society. This search for a voice united Latin America against the full control of state. After a decade, the repressed media voices began to spill out into the public. This made it much easier for citizens to voice opinions, educate the public and search for change.

Resulting from the “dirty wars”, authoritarian states made many of their enemies disappear, tortured and denied any information regarding them. In Argentina it began with 14 mothers gathered in the Plaza de Mayo in 1977. Gathering weekly demanding for information about their missing children. Not to long after this issue came to public eye when body parts were found on the coasts of Uruguay and journalists became interested in the situation. The French Embassy and President Carter decided to put pressure on the state, limiting relations. The OAS was brought to investigate the missing peoples and found 6,000 disappearances that were able to be investigated officially. The junta invaded the Malvinas Islands and forces were beat creating protests throughout Argentina. In 1988, the Reagan administration came to the aid of the act of bringing the authoritarian regime.

Meanwhile, in Chile Pinochet had issues with the claims from mothers of disappeared children as well. Facing large opposition and general strikes within Chile, Pinochet feared the “No” vote. The “No” campaign stresses Pinochets crimes and emphasized democracy in the future.

These two examples are remarkable in a way that regular citizens collectively can make for change. Fighting for human rights in authoritarian run countries can be very dangerous, the bravery of the few people who took the risk and began this should be noted.

It is also important to note the importance of mass media during this time. Currently, our news sources are often under scrutiny but they need to be recognized for the positive impacts it has had on many lives. I agree that media is not doing its job to inform the public adequately but when the protests by the mothers was seen in media it changed the situation drastically. This is when being informed about history is important in our daily lives, we are reminded that we are lucky to have voices in our society but those voices were fought to be heard. We should not take those for granted.

2 thoughts on “Week Twelve

  1. eva streitz

    I was also reflecting on how the material for this class has evolved. Even the sources have become more dynamic, including video forms of primary sources. The same themes seem to come back every time though.

  2. CennediMills

    I was also reminded of the strength and power the voice of only a couple of people can have. It was amazing to read about what people in Latin America accomplished in such a tense time.


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