Complex post-cold war politics, depoliticizing and Human Rights – week 12

Posted by in Week 12

As we get closer to the modern day in our learning on the politics of Latin America, it seems the issues seemingly become more complex. Perhaps it is the lack of temporal distance; these events are discussions are not clarified by historical distance. Also, as the polarizing and binarizing tendencies of cold war ‘camps’ dissolve, so our compartmentalizing of stakeholders becomes unstructured. Perhaps this dissolution leaves bare these political events, which can no longer be reduced to capitalist versus communist. As these structures lift, we can only wonder how much they played a role in the Latin American continent –was this analytical spectrum ever as relevant as we though it was?

It is interesting to observe the rise of ‘de-politicized’ voices and actors, such as the madres in Argentina. They did not adhere to any unified ideology, instead presenting their claims as humanitarian. (To what extent can humanitarianism be construed as an ideology?) Journalists also express this stance, underlining the role of information communication in society. These players position themselves against the culture of violence that has developed in many Latin American communities, and employ the language of Human Rights. What are the consequences of this use of Human Rights discourse? Does this represent a shift beyond the traditional political binaries?