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Posted: November 16th, 2022

The History of Latin America

In Latin America between the 1980s and 1990s there was a concerted effort to reveal the truth behind violence that had occurred in the region during the Cold War. This came in a number of forms: official truth commissions, individual testimonies from survivors, documentary films, and scholarly monographs, among others. In the movie Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, the book I, Rigoberta Menchú, and the book My Name is Victoria we learn that different groups have struggled to construct their own collective memory of what happened. Essay Question: How has the “official history” of this period changed over time? How have different groups tried to influence the creation of that “official history”? Answer the questions with examples from Argentina and Guatemala (you may include other country-specific examples to support your argument). Wood’s chapter about “Historical Memory” will help you with this essay. Formatting: Length: 3-4 pages Font: Times New Roman 12pt Spacing: Double-spaced. Do not “double-skip” between paragraphs. Margins: 1 inch Pagination: All pages must be numbered. First page: Single-space the following in the upper left-hand corner: your name, the professor’s name, course number/course name, and date. No cover sheet, please. Include the title of your work. Collation: Staple your pages in the upper left-hand corner. Do not use a folder or binder clip. Quotations: Must be placed in quotation marks (except in the case of block quotations). All quotations, paraphrases, and direct summaries must be accompanied by footnotes or endnotes in proper form. Sources: Include examples from the movie Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, the book I, Rigoberta Menchú, and the book My Name is Victoria. Citation Format: Although I prefer Turabian/ Chicago Manual of Style, you may use another (APA, MLA, etc.) as long as your reference notes are clear and consistent. Bibliography: Not necessary unless you use sources that we did not read in class. If you decide to use outside sources, please submit a full bibliography at the end of your paper. This will not be counted toward your total page length.

The History of Latin America
The phrase Latin America is used to refer to the countries in America that were at one point colonized by the European nations. The Napoleon III of the French Empire was the one who introduced the phrase Latin America. The term was used and coined to place France as one of the nations with influence in America when Mexico was invaded by Napoleon. The term has evolved as ages went by and now it is not only used to refer to the language, but also cultural, ethnic, political, social and economic characteristics as well (Donda & Bogin, 2011).
The history between 1980s – 1990s
The history of Latin America has changed significantly over time and there isn’t any particular indicator adequate enough to point up the changes. The military has played a major role when it comes to right – wing regimes, in addition a significant civilian component in up to date Latin Americas was the right – wing politics. This began in the 1980s, where right wing politics came not just to be identified by militarism but neoliberalism as well. However, Latin America noeliberalism was more than just being a political project that was a society based but was also principally forced by technocrats from end to end policy making underneath both civilian governments and military. In an attempt to deal with the 1980s debt crisis, center left parties such as Peronists and PRI came to give your backing to neoliberal programs that were aligned to their own tradition. In most Latin American nations, with the 1980s development of democracy, right wing, political associations holding neoliberal thoughts increased dominance. Outstanding examples included FREDEMO in Peru, UCD in Argentina, and PAN in Mexico. However, New Right parties still remained weak across the region (Donda & Bogin, 2011).
The current Latin America, enjoys much left wing plurality, the self- governing governments is voted devoid of infuriating the antagonism of the United States government, which was not something to be imagined of during the 1980s. Literature shows that during this period majority of the nations were governed by right – wing military administrations and the framed politics by the of the Cold War parameters. An attempt to transform in these unpleasant environments was represented by the El Salvador parallel process and the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua.
The major transformational changes in America revolve rotate around the extensive approval of market – based economies with agent of self – governing politics. There exist a number of variations and gray areas, both politically and economically, but definitely this is now the prevailing trend. The main historical occurrences that took place between the 1980s to 1990s did involve the fall of old dictatorships, financial crises and revolution. For instance, Argentina emigration was rekindled by economic crises and political repression during the early 1980s (Levering, 2016).
With regard to immigration, political instability and civil wars triggered the formidable influx of Guatemalans, Hondurans and Salvadorians in the Latin America. Guatemala witnessed a prolonged civil conflict which spread after 1978 and led to thousands of people seeking asylum between the 1980s and 1990s. Although the surge in Guatemalan immigration is accredited to political instability, some literature indicates that neither economic factors nor violence forecasted the outmigration likelihood. They, however, portray emigration at Guatemalan as a household choice to expand earnings streams by sending youthful, skillful members to be with their relatives in the United States.

How the official history was influenced
For several years the documentation of relevant history has been erased or hidden and kept away from the view of the public. But the currently, the extensive dossiers and documentation have been presented before the courts. For instance, the massacre that occurred at the Spanish Embassy, literature reveals that police from different six units were involved and in principally created a blockage within the embassy surroundings so as to ensure that nobody left the embassy alive. This similar case was witnessed during the internal armed conflict, where the whole village was wiped out. All this action was carried out with the same intention of ensuring that none would survive to tell the story (Onis, Yates & Kanopy, 2015).
There were also attempts by the Guatemala’s ruling elite to influence the official history. For instance, Efrain Rios Montt, who was the former Guatemalan dictator was being tried for charges from crimes against humanity and genocide that left more than one thousand seven hundred lxil Mayan people. This event took place during the early 1980s and the dictator was being tried for the second time. At the 2013 trial, he was sent to prison for duration of eighty years, but with less than two weeks after this ruling, the ruling was overturned. The high court in Guatemala dismissed all the proceedings of the case in order to retrial on procedural foundation. However, this kind of reasoning was not bought by the human rights activist as they argued that the courts had caved to the Guatemala’s political ruling elite pressure (Onis, Yates & Kanopy, 2015).
In addition, the challenge with demanding for justice is that it forces scholars to square cases that are deviant among the sociologically unintelligible Convention. In most cases it has been through tortuous legalistic argument. The definition of the United Nations Genocide Convention has in part influenced the official history of the Latin America cold war. For instance, in the Argentine case some scholars used the Spanish judge argument that the phrase ‘national group’ was considered appropriate since they had been innihilated thereby changing the social fabric of the nation in part. However, it is laudable the target of bringing to account the officers, this looked like a misinterpretation of the common knowledge of anti – group violence and the Convention. This is because the wish of the Argentine military is to alter the national society, they performed this by targeting a given sections of the population. Some scholars argued that eradicating a given cultural, social and political groups was done with the intention of subjugating the whole community as a whole (Levering, 2016).
Levering, R. B. (2016). The Cold War: A post-Cold War history.
Donda, V., & Bogin, M. (2011). My name is Victoria: The extraordinary story of one woman’s struggle to reclaim her true identity. New York: Other Press.
Onis, P. ., Yates, P., & Kanopy (Firm). (2015). Granito: How to Nail a Dictator.

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