Friday, November 17, 2006

Another good step towards justice in Latin America...

I've written before about justice systems in Brazil specifically, and in Latin America more generally, catching up to the wrongdoings of figures of authority in the past (Pinochet in Chile is the most notable case, but the arrests, trials, and imprisonments of high-ranking police officers and military officials who oversaw torture, murder, and "disappearances" in Argentina and modern-day police officers in Brazil offer other examples).

Another step was taken in the right direction today, as former rightist Uruguayan dictator Juan Maria Bordaberry was arrested for the kidnapping and murder of political opponents and other "subversives" in the 1970s. While it's a very real possibility that Bordaberry never sees trial, it's another right step in showing to a continent plagued by dictatorships that remained immune from punishment for years that, no matter who you are, you will have to face up eventually to the crimes you committed, directly and indirectly. While some may never go punished (such as in the case of Brazil, where all five presidents of the dictatorship of 1964-1985 are dead, and most of the torturers are also either dead or remain immune from charges), the arrest of Bordaberry and Juan Blanco marks another step in the right direction. May the Americas continue to pursue justice of criminals such as these throughout both continents.