Washington and South American Military Regimes (1964-1989): Embarrassing Alliances
This paper analyzes and assesses the inner workings of the strategic alliances between Washington and South American military regimes – with particular focus on Argentina, Brazil and Chile – within the Cold War context. From the advent of the Brazilian (1964) and Chilean (1973) dictatorships until the disintegration of these regimes in the 1980s, it takes into account the complex and many-faceted Washington decision- making process on this issue and emphasizes internal dissensions within the Executive branch as well as between Congress and the White House.
Keywords: United States, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, military regimes, human rights.
Paraguay, a "Condor"'s Nest: General Stroessner's Dictatorship, Repression and the Condor System
In 1954, General Stroessner took power in Paraguay and put in place a personal dictatorship that lasted until 1989. When military regimes were being set up in South America in the name of national security, Alfredo Stroessner became an ardent champion of anticommunism, strengthened repression and attempted to tighten links between his country and the United States. Paraguay joined the Condor system – which organized the collaboration of South American dictatorships in order to eliminate their opponents – implemented by his neighbors in the South Cone. The archives discovered in Asuncion form one of the main sources of information on the Condor system that had remained secret for a long time. This article explains how the system worked and the specific role that Paraguay held in the implementation of international repression.
Keywords: Condor system, Alfredo Stroessner, political repression, anticommunism, police state.
The Origins of State Terrorism: French Influence in the Training of the Argentine Military (1955-1976)
This article studies the origins, context and characteristics of an indoctrination process. The Argentine State policy from 1976-1983 involved the military personnel and security forces in situations that were contrary to human rights. The training these men had received in the barracks and military schools in the previous years made these crimes against humanity episodes of a "revolutionary war" that Argentina was subjected to. This indoctrination transformed war and security professionals into modern crusaders, convinced that the crimes against these "subversives" were good deeds carried out "in the name of God and Country". Elements belonging to intransigent Catholicism and the far right accomplished this indoctrination with a decidedly “French accent”. On one hand, by introducing into Argentine military circles the French revolutionary war doctrine that had become dominant in strategy and doctrines for Argentine armed forces and security forces. On the other hand, by the action developed by certain French-origin secular and religious groups set up in Argentina that actively participated in the indoctrination.
Keywords: Argentina, State terrorism, military dictatorship, intransigent Catholicism, far right.
The Tupamaros and Dictatorship: Debate on the 1973 Uruguay Coup
The Tupamaro guerrilla's role and actions in the democratic and liberal context of the 1960s are part of recurrent explanations of the 1973 Uruguay coup. In public debates, the military and civilian right wing that participated in the dictatorship held the Tupamaros responsible for the chaos and threats to the institutions that the country went through, a situation that could only result in authoritarianism. Some scholars maintained that the Tupamaros' disloyal attitudes hurt the legitimacy of the democratic system and thus contributed to the coup while others only saw in the emergence of the Tupamaros' national liberation movement a consequence of the political and economic crisis that the country experienced. Looking at the Tupamaro movement’s trajectory (birth, development, failure), this article assesses the various interpretations of the emergence of this armed group and its effect on the coup.
Keywords: Tupamaros, Uruguay, dictatorship, authoritarianism,political violence.
Carry out the Revolution and Enter the Mainstream: the Paradoxical Effects of the Brazilian Army’s Exercise of Power
The Brazilian military came to power after the 1964 coup and became the paradoxical heir of an ideal of “professional” armed forces, organized hierarchically and according to a disciplinary mode: politics, which divides and fragments, must remain out of the barracks. Power can only be wielded by generals who try to silence and reduce their subordinates to passivity. Nevertheless, the militarization of the state apparatus and the legalization of the dictatorship as a military and “revolutionary” regime created conflicts of legitimacy. Around the basic ambiguity of a regime that wanted to demobilize the army which is its political base, this article presents some of the thinking on the officers’ political practices during the dictatorship, their internal conflicts within the
military, and the relations between the State and the army between 1964 and 1985.
Keywords: Brazil, military regime, armed forces, political history, officer corps.
Politics During the Argentine Dictatorship: The Unfinished Refundacional Experience of the Process of National Reorganization (1976-1983)
Questioning economic readings and those that interpret the former Argentine military dictatorship as an expression of evil or absolute power, the article analyzes the ambitious political objectives of the process of national reorganization, so-named by the military. The author shows how the profound differences among the different groups that participated in the dictatorial regime significantly blocked the possibility of achieving these objectives.
Keywords: Argentina, military dictatorship, armed forces, politics, human rights.
Construction of Power and Military Regime under Augusto Pinochet
Verónica Valdivia Ortiz de Zárate
This article analyzes the military dictatorship led by Chilean General Augusto Pinochet, characterized by its personal as well as institutional aspects. It seeks to explain his emergence as leader and the explanation of the civilianmilitary pro-Pinochet apparatus which enabled the projection of his power beyond his upset in the 1988 plebiscite. The hypothesis is that General Pinochet’s leadership hinged on three processes: a) the country’s rapid international isolation, which encouraged the cohesion of its armed forces; b) his absence from the conspiracy that prepared the coup, which forced him to design strategies to bolster his position and seek the support of civilians who could offer him a project; c) the political thinking of the armed forces, which encouraged the formation of social support networks. These three factors allowed him to associate the regime with his own person, and thus prolong his hold on national power.
Keywords: Augusto Pinochet, leadership, dictatorship, authoritarianism, army.
Economic Globalization Laboratories: Comparative Views on the Argentine and Chilean Dictatorships in the 1970s
Stéphane Boisard et Mariana Heredia
Starting with a comparative study of the economic policies of the Argentine (1976-1983) and Chilean dictatorships (1973-1990), this article challenges the existence of an “economic model” of national security regimes. It focuses on the influence of theoretical and ideological approaches imported from the United States, especially concerning inflation. Some aspects show convergences between the two experiences, such as regressive social effects or conflicts in the implementation of the economic policies between civil and military economists, on one hand, and the military, on the other. Other aspects show deep divergences. The “coherence” of the Chilean economic policy thus contrasts with the hybrid character of the Argentine experience.
Keywords: dictatorship, Southern Cone, neoliberalism, globalization, economic policy.
Religion and Power in the Brazil of the Military (1964-1985)
Since the mid-1950s, some Protestant evangelical churches and sectors of the Catholic Church started a movement of renovation and opening towards the problems of Brazilian realities. Yet in April 1964, all the Christian churches accepted the new order that emerged from the military coup d’État before strongly diverging later on. While the Brazilian Bishops’ Conference came to embody the entire society’s resistance to the regime, the evangelical churches continued to support it. The reasons for such opposing positions are to be found more in the history and power relationships in the religious field than in a profound difference in the nature of the two religious cultures.
Keywords: Brazil, dictatorship, Evangelical Churches, Catholic Church, resistance.
The Argentine Military Dictatorship (1976-1983): An Interpretation According to the “Catholic Nation” Myth
This article explores the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Argentine military regime from a historical point of view. It is not limited to an analysis of events proving the Church’s complicity in the national reorganization process, but starts from specific questions: how was it possible for Argentina to plunge into such a barbaric State? How could the Church be so involved? To answer, the article goes into a more general and long term reading of the relations between Catholicism and national identity in Argentina, from the “long march” towards the heart of nationality in the beginning of the 20th century up to the political and ideological battles to claim the myth of the “Catholic nation”. What emerges is the genealogy of a political culture determined to achieve the monopoly of legitimacy and the progressive transformation of the Catholic religion to a political religion, forming the two keys of Argentine authoritarianism.
Keywords: Argentina, Catholic Church, military regime, national identity, “Catholic nation”, myth.
The Brazilian Middle Class and the Military Dictatorship: From Support to Opposition (1964-1985)
The article analyses the variations in the middle and upper classes vis-à-vis the military regime set up in the 1964 coup in Brazil and contests the conventional wisdom that the dictatorship never had society’s support. The coup was suppor300 ted by various social sectors, encouraged by a strong anti-communist campaign, but this support lessened because of the violence used against the 1968 student demonstrations. Young students joined the ranks of the left wing organizations that had chosen armed battle while their parents took advantage of the regime during the “Brazilian economic miracle”. With the end of it, public opinion wielded pressure on the dictatorship, demanding the amnesty of those persecuted and the return by universal suffrage to the election of the president of the republic. These movements caused the previous phases with serious support to the regime to be forgotten.
Keywords: Brazil, military dictatorship, middle class, armed struggle, democratic resistance.
1968 in Brazil
Marieta de Moraes Ferreira
This article analyzes 1968 in Brazil, especially in Rio de Janeiro, with the focus on the student movement. With the memoirs and testimonies of student leaders and the major daily newspapers (O Globo, Correio da manhã, Jornal do Brasil), it looks at the specificities of the Brazilian student movement, its main slogans and the impact of the international conjuncture on the demonstrations in Brazil.
Keywords: Brazil, military dictatorship, 1968, student movement, university.
Victims’ Associations, State Terrorism and Politics in Argentina from 1973 to 1987
Nadia Tahir et Marina Franco
Between 1976 and 1983, Argentina was governed by a military dictatorship that instituted a repressive system. It was particularly unusual because of its violence and economic, political, social and cultural effects on the long term on Argentine society. This article goes through this historical process again, but with a broader perspective to explain the human rights movement that emerged as the principal, and almost only, opposition to the authoritarian regime. The point of view chosen considers a political process in the long term, including the years before the coup of 1976, and a brief period of time after democracy was re-established in 1983. It makes it possible not only to understand some fundamental characteristics of the humanitarian movement of these years – protagonist of the Argentine public sphere until today, but lso to reflect on important historical problems and the way research touches the subject.
Keywords: Argentina, dictatorship, association, politics, victim.