Truth Commissions and U.S. Hegemony
Truth commissions are institutions created to find the truth about past human rights violations committed by national governments and other organized forces, and to use such truth to punish perpetrators, heal victims, and bring about national reconciliation. Recent examples of truth commissions include Argentina (1983), Chile (1991), El Salvador (1993), Guatemala (1995), South Africa (1998), and Peru (2001). They share such common purposes as closing the gap between government and citizens; integrating victims and perpetrators into the national body; preparing a plan of national reparations; and restoring national trust and justice. A common assumption is that truth commissions investigate intranational human rights violations, not international human rights violations, that is, national groups committed violations against each other and, thus, national groups need reconciliation. Argentines violated the rights of Argentines, Guatemalans of Guatemalans, and so forth.
KeywordsUnited States Foreign Policy State Sovereignty Truth Commission Guatemala City
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