(Un)Rule of Law and the Underprivileged in Latin America

Edited by Juan E. Méndez, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, and Guillermo O'Donnell

From the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies

This thorough discussion of the idea of “democracies without citizenship” in Latin America considers overcoming political violence and discrimination and analyzes various avenues to institutional judicial reform. The (Un)Rule of Law and the Underprivileged in Latin America, as the fourth part of Project Latin America 2000 from the Helen Kellogg Institute, enlarges the understanding of significant political, economic, and social issues facing Latin America at the threshold of a new century.

The contributors develop arguments around the Latin American system of law which only punishes the poor and marginalized. In addressing lawless violence, the contributors argue that it is no longer the democratic state that directly commits the abuses. Instead, it fails to control arbitrary practices of its own agents and to challenge those who flaunt disregard for the law. The collection demonstrates that it is impossible to separate judicial reform from human rights and argues that justice must be made accessible to the poor and that governments make a serious and comprehensive commitment to social reform.

Contributors are Juan E. Mendez, Nigel S. Rodley, Ligia Bolivar O.,Paul Chevigny, Jean-Paul Brodeur, Roger Plant, Rebecca J. Cook, Jorge Dandler, Shelton H. Davis, Mariclaire Acosta, Dorothy Q. Thomas, Peter Fry, Joan Dassin, Reed Brody, Leonardo Franco, Jorge Correa Sutil, and Alejandro M. Garro.

Juan E. Mendez is Executive Director of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights. Guillermo O’Donnell is the Helen Kellogg Professor of Government and International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Paulo Sergio Pinheiro is Professor at the University of Sao Paulo and Director of the University’s Center for the Study of Violence.