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676 - The legacy of truth commissions in post transitional Latin America

18.07.2012 | 08:00 - 13:30

Convener 1: Winter, Franka (Trinity College Dublin, Irish School of Ecumenics , Belfast, United Kingdom/Ver Königr)
Convener 2: Hasgall, Alexander (University of Zurich, Historisches Seminar, Zürich, Switzerland / Schweiz)

In 2012, 30 years will have passed since the birth of the first Latin American truth commission - the Bolivian “Comisión Nacional de Investigación de Desaparecidos”. While this commission was unsuccessful in that it never finished its report, only one year later in Argentina then president Alfonsín established the CONADEP (Comisión Nacional sobre desaparición de personas), whose final report “Nunca Más” would become paradigmatic for transitional politics beyond Latin America. In the meantime, an important number of Latin American countries have made use of truth commissions as part of their own political transitions. Many of these commissions finished their work years ago. Questions regarding the actual impact their work has had on post transitional societies and how it has been received, adopted or rejected by civil society are still subject to debate. This panel aims to critically assess the impact, reception and legacy of Latin American truth commissions in current post transitional societies from a wide array of disciplinary perspectives and on the ground of selected case studies. A focus on the presence of former truth commissions in contemporary, post transitional Latin American societies is particularly encouraged: what is the role of former truth commissions in disputes over current political issues and how are memories of truth commissions and their reports used in these contexts? How are truth commissions’ findings incorporated in national curricula and how are they teached? Did truth commissions have any influence on national jurisdiction, and if so, which? How are truth commissions and their results remembered and discussed in the wider public sphere? How is their work adopted or rejected to deal with current problems? How do their reports influence possible new national founding narratives? Scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to discuss these questions, in order to facilitate a comprehensive review of the legacy of truth commissions in post transitional Latin America.

Keywords: truth commissions, post transitional societies, transitional justice, Latin America

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