When States Kill: Latin America, the U.S., and Technologies of Terror

Paperback | July 1, 2005

EditorCecilia Menjívar, Néstor Rodríguez

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Since the early twentieth century, technological transfers from the United States to Latin American countries have involved technologies of violence for social control. As the chapters in this book illustrate, these technological transfers have taken various forms, including the training of Latin American military personnel in surveillance and torture and the provision of political and logistic support for campaigns of state terror. The human cost for Latin America has been enormous—thousands of Latin Americans have been murdered, disappeared, or tortured, and whole communities have been terrorized into silence.

Organized by region, the essays in this book address the topic of state-sponsored terrorism in a variety of ways. Most take the perspective that state-directed political violence is a modern development of a regional political structure in which U.S. political interests weigh heavily. Others acknowledge that Latin American states enthusiastically received U.S. support for their campaigns of terror. A few see local culture and history as key factors in the implementation of state campaigns of political violence. Together, all the essays exemplify how technologies of terror have been transferred among various Latin American countries, with particular attention to the role that the United States, as a "strong" state, has played in such transfers.

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Since the early twentieth century, technological transfers from the United States to Latin American countries have involved technologies of violence for social control. As the chapters in this book illustrate, these technological transfers have taken various forms, including the training of Latin American military personnel in surveill...

CECILIA MENJÍVAR, a sociologist, is Associate Professor in the School of Justice and Social Inquiry at Arizona State University, where she is also affiliated with the Center for Latin American Studies and the Women’s Studies Program.NÉSTOR RODRÍGUEZ is Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Houston, whe...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:388 pages, 8.9 × 5.96 × 0.9 inPublished:July 1, 2005Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292706790

ISBN - 13:9780292706798

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsPart I. IntroductionChapter 1. State Terror in the U.S.-Latin American Interstate Regime by Cecilia Menjívar and Néstor RodríguezChapter 2. Operation Condor as a Hemispheric "Counterterror" Organization by J. Patrice McSherryPart II. Central America and MexicoChapter 3. "The Blood of the People": The Guardia Nacional's Fifty-year War against the People of Nicaragua, 1927-1979 by Richard GrossmanChapter 4. The Culture and Politics of State Terror and Repression in El Salvador by Aldo A. Lauria-SantiagoChapter 5. Caught in the Crossfire: Militarization, Paramilitarization, and State Violence in Oaxaca, Mexico by Kristin NorgetChapter 6. Bloody Deeds/Hechos Sangrientos: Reading Guatemala's Record of Political Violence in Cadaver Reports by M. Gabriela TorresChapter 7. U.S. Militarization of Honduras in the 1980s and the Creation of CIA-backed Death Squads by Joan KruckewittChapter 8. "No Hay Rosas Sin Espinas": Statecraft in Costa Rica by Annamarie Oliverio and Pat LauderdalePart III. South AmericaChapter 9. The Colombian Nightmare: Human Rights Abuses and the Contradictory Effects of U.S. Foreign Policy by John C. DugasChapter 10. The Path of State Terror in Peru by Abderrahman BeggarChapter 11. Turning on Their Masters: State Terrorism and Unlearning Democracy in Uruguay by Jeffrey J. RyanChapter 12. Producing and Exporting State Terror: The Case of Argentina by Ariel C. ArmonyPart IV. ConclusionChapter 13. New Responses to State Terror by Cecilia Menjívar and Néstor RodríguezAbout the ContributorsIndex

Editorial Reviews

Since the early twentieth century, technological transfers from the United States to Latin American countries have involved technologies of violence for social control. As the chapters in this book illustrate, these technological transfers have taken various forms, including the training of Latin American military personnel in surveillance and torture and the provision of political and logistic support for campaigns of state terror. The human cost for Latin America has been enormous—thousands of Latin Americans have been murdered, disappeared, or tortured, and whole communities have been terrorized into silence. Organized by region, the essays in this book address the topic of state-sponsored terrorism in a variety of ways. Most take the perspective that state-directed political violence is a modern development of a regional political structure in which U.S. political interests weigh heavily. Others acknowledge that Latin American states enthusiastically received U.S. support for their campaigns of terror. A few see local culture and history as key factors in the implementation of state campaigns of political violence. Together, all the essays exemplify how technologies of terror have been transferred among various Latin American countries, with particular attention to the role that the United States, as a “strong” state, has played in such transfers.This extraordinary collection of essays locates Latin American state terror within the context of the distinct and influential role of U.S. foreign and military policy in the region. This is a rare work, a 'must read' for academics from a range of disciplines as well as human rights and refugee advocates and lawyers. - Carolyn Patty Blum, Clinical Professor of Law Emeritus, Boalt Hall Law School, University of California at Berkeley