Post-dictatorship Argentina: human rights policy and the schism in Madres de Plaza de Mayo
Codoni, Maria Soledad
This research studies human rights policy in post-dictatorship Argentina from its impact on the division of Madres de Plaza de Mayo, the human rights organization created in 1977 by the mothers of the disappeared by state-sponsored terrorism during the last military dictatorship in Argentina (1976-1983). The study develops and substantiates the hypothesis that the schism of the Madres that took place in 1986 is the result of a complex and multi-causal process, a phenomenon involving internal factors such as the social, political and religious diversity of the Madres and the leadership style of the organization; and external factors such as the particularities of the new political scenario. This work concludes that although internal factors should not be underestimated, the phenomenon under study is part of a broader problem related to the paths chosen by the government of Raúl R. Alfonsín to deal with serious violations of human rights perpetrated by the military dictatorship. By studying the impact of human rights policy on Madres de Plaza de Mayo, we expect this research to contribute to the understanding how policy choices can impact on social movements organizations. Human right organizations have become very important actors in post-dictatorship Argentina, and the conclusions reached can provide relevant insight for understanding both its internal dynamics and its interaction with the government.
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