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Political violence and social actors in Latin America

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On March 30, 2006, the IPEALT organized a seminar on ?Political violence and social actors in Latin America?. The various interventions of the scientists solved problems relating to topicality, through case studies. This report is not a summary of their remarks. This report will try and understand the processes of violence in modern history on a continental scale, by excluding all prospects of specialists in comparative literature. A quick glance related to the history of Latin America will help in understanding the extent of violence that prevailed in the country. This tradition dates back to the massacres of the Indian population which enameled the discoveries of the colonial period. The 20th century witnessed the return of the armed uprising of the guerrillas and the installation of authoritarian regimes.

Today, the observers underline the alarming aggravation of the frequency of crimes which are blood related to illegal activities and economic exploitation. This debate covers topics such as violence in the media, the diversity of public opinions and turns out to be a central theme for definition of the public policies. Rather than accepting the fate of the Latin-American culture of violence, and to pose determinism which would seek an explanation in the alleged nature of the people, it is advisable to wonder about the origin of these practices and the change of the repertories of violence. On a continent built on the backing of the guerrillas and military regimes, political systems were built on the basis of violent interactions between the parties in conflict.

However, in recently democratized systems, the question of continuous safety of public freedom and democratic nature with respect to controlling the violence raises several questions. These include: Does it mean that the Latin America is a victim to violence, by its manners, its culture, or by the particular configuration of the social inequalities? Does violence constitute a historical dimension of a political and social model in Latin America?

Tags: processes of violence; politically related violence; Latin America;

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