ABSTRACT

This book has traced trajectories from impunity towards accountability for past human rights violations in nine Latin American countries. Chapter 1 outlined our intentions in embarking on this project: to document and help to explain the significantly changed, but still extremely uneven, state of affairs in present-day Latin America regarding accountability for past political violence. We have attempted to overcome both the methodological weakness of single-case studies (lack of generalisability) and the limitations of large-n studies (insufficient attention to context) by tracing accountability trajectories over time in a medium-size set of related countries. We divided the countries into three groups based on type of transition, including post-authoritarian, post-conflict, and (in one case) ongoing conflict. Taken together, the nine cases suggest the range of accountability outcomes that may emerge with the passage of time.