Direitos humanos e realidades na América Latina

A statue of Benito Juárez, a political reformer who became the first president of Mexico under its 1857 constitution. / Roberto Arias Alegria

A statue of Benito Juárez, a political reformer who became the first president of Mexico under its 1857 constitution. / Roberto Arias Alegria

[Keeping the Promise: Rights and Realities in Latin America – Roberto Gargarella, Boston Review]

“The Mexican Constitution pioneered the development of a more social constitutionalism. The idea was that a constitution should not simply define the organization of the government and describe its limits. It should also insist on the entitlement of all citizens to basic goods and services. […] Most countries in the region followed the Mexican example, building similar lists of social rights into their constitutions: Brazil in 1937; Bolivia in 1938; Cuba in 1940; Uruguay in 1942; Ecuador and Guatemala in 1945; Argentina and Costa Rica in 1949. Latin American constitutions thus reflected and reinforced the emergence of the working class as a key political and economic actor in the first half of the twentieth century. […] Unlike more liberal constitutions, such as the U.S. Constitution, Latin American constitutions empower the president to declare a state of siege, to appoint or remove ministers at will, and to legislate. The concentration of power in the executive ensures that constitutional promises remain more aspirational than real.”

[Evo Morales’ historic speech at the Isla del Sol – Richard Fidler/Life on the Left]

“Sisters and brothers of the world: Capitalism has created a civilization that is wasteful, consumerist, exclusive, clientelist, a generator of opulence and misery. That is the pattern of life, production and consumption that we urgently need to transform. The planet and humanity are in serious danger of extinction. The forests are in danger, biodiversity is in danger, the rivers and oceans are in danger and the earth is in danger. This beautiful human community that inhabits our Mother Earth is in danger owing to the climate crisis.”

[‘Imagine the Worst Possible Scenario’: Why a Guantanamo Prosecutor Withdrew From the Case – The Atlantic/Estados Unidos]

“Arriving at Guantanamo in October 2003, Couch was startled by an unlikely sound: grating, blasting, heavy-metal music. He went to look into the commotion. Perhaps some off-duty guards were fooling around with a boom box, he thought. […] Couch turned into the doorway. He froze. On the floor, amid the flashing lights and the deafening metal sounds, was a shackled detainee, kneeling, mumbling, rocking back and forth. Praying. This man was in agony.”

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