In This Review

Sustaining Human Rights in the Twenty-First Century: Strategies from Latin America
Sustaining Human Rights in the Twenty-First Century: Strategies from Latin America
Edited by Katherine Hite and Mark Ungar
Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2013, 424 pp
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The veteran human rights advocates whose writings are collected here celebrate the forward march of Latin Americans in securing political freedoms, even as the book calls for more attention to economic, social, and cultural rights. Oddly, the editors have ignored Cuba, whose revolution emphasized these latter categories of rights. Understandably, they dwell on Chile, the birthplace of the contemporary Latin American human rights movement. Essays by Hite and Elizabeth Lira focus on the rights of Chilean victims of state violence and the role of memory in justice, healing, and reconciliation. A superb chapter by Alexander Wilde compares the track records of Chile and Colombia in honoring basic human rights. Other well-informed essays consider the peace-versus-justice debates, the power of civil society to advance rights, and the strengths and shortcomings of the United Nations and the institutions of the inter-American system. The volume suffers from a weakness common to much of the literature on social and economic rights: the failure to contemplate, much less quantify, the implied monetary claims of those who have been deprived of such rights.