Endnote export


%T The Return of the Military
%A Kurtenbach, Sabine
%A Scharpf, Adam
%P 11
%V 7
%D 2018
%K Politische Neuorientierung; Repressalien
%@ 1862-3573
%> https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-60633-4
%X Brazil now has a president-elect who glorifies the military dictatorship and a general as vice president-elect; in Guatemala, officers made their menacing presence felt as they literally stood behind the president as it was announced that the government would not renew the mandate of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala; and, Argentina intends to again use armed forces in conflicts within the country. In Latin America, the military is once again openly intervening in politics. The continent seems to be on its way back to a past that many had thought overcome.
Although history seldom repeats itself and straight-out military regimes are unlikely, the continent is in a political crisis. The basic structural problems of violence, corruption, and inequality persist and continue to undermine democratic institutions.
The use of the military in crises is met with hardly any resistance, not only in defective democracies such as Guatemala or in authoritarian contexts such as Venezuela. In fact, surveys show that the military enjoys surprisingly high levels of trust throughout the entire region even despite past human rights violations.
The increasing violence against human rights activists is decreasing the room for manoeuvre of civil society actors, a group whom democratic societies need for stability and conflict management.
The coming into office of Donald Trump as president of the United States has buttressed right-wing authoritarian movements in Latin America. In that context, as the military advances into politics it has nothing to fear from Washington.
While international attention had been focusing on the return of authoritarian structures in Nicaragua and Venezuela for some time now, the election of farright, former reserve officer Jair Bolsonaro as president of Brazil shocked the continent. This is a dramatic wake-up call. Only if state and non-state actors support those political, economic, and social forces that defend democratic institutions can a new phase of political militarisation in Latin America be prevented.
%C Hamburg
%G en
%9 Arbeitspapier
%W GESIS - http://www.gesis.org
%~ SSOAR - http://www.ssoar.info