Kelley, Patrick William. “On the Poverty and Possibility of Human Rights in Latin American History.” Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development 5:3 (2014): 435-451.

Annotation: This author makes the argument that the history of human rights in Latin America is in its infantile stages, and can best be interpreted as an intersectional discipline that has its largest wealth of information when studied at a transnational level of analysis. Through a comparative study of two works, Human Rights and Transnational Solidarity in Cold War Latin America by Jessica Stites Mor and James N. Green’s We Cannot Remain Silent: Opposition to the Brazilian Military Dictatorship in the United State, Kelley unravels the rich history of human rights in Latin America that can best be interpreted through a comparative, transnational framework of analysis. Moreover, he frames each work in two differing ways: on the national level of analysis and on the transnational level of analysis, to show how these two lenses lay in contradistinction to each other, and that as scholars, we are only limiting our understanding of the history of human rights in Latin America if we choose to bound our analysis to merely a national, individual, or local level. This article is insightful to the study of human rights in Latin America, as it expands upon the already existing structures by which to analyze human rights history.

Tags: Brazil, transnational, torture, human rights, Cold War, Latin America, 1970s.

Repression of Dissidents in Brazil

I selected this image to accompany Kelley’s annotation because it appeared on the top of The Yale Review of International Studies, published by Paulo Coelho Filho in the February 2012 edition. The image is in an article that exposes the brutality of the military government in Brazil, a topic Kelley tackles as well.

By Jack Mizes

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