Securitisation and its impact on human rights in Latin America

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Lopez, Diego
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Global Campus
In Latin America, securitisation policies and their rhetoric have been part of historic challenges to the rule of law and are very much a part of current challenges in a new security agenda designed to combat complex crimes, such as terrorism, money laundering, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and common crimes affecting citizen security. These policies are also manipulated in order to disable dissent and weaken the right to accountability. Securitisation is at the heart of the current interventionist tactics, and their impact on the respect for human rights. Securitisation links public security to a discourse of war, and builds on a friend/enemy dichotomy. In the collective imagination, the perception of fear connects with and feeds back into the discursive and practical instrumentation of securitisation and the threats to (physical or moral) integrity that it seeks to confront. These issues are explored mainly by reference to the invocation of the National Security Doctrine during the dictatorships of the 1970s and 1980s in Latin America, and through the criminalisation of human rights defenders in the more recent democratic era. Initiatives based on the human security paradigm are also considered, in light of their desired contribution to a possible desecuritisation strategy. Key words: securitisation; Latin America; National Security Doctrine; criminalisation of human rights defenders
social security, Latin America, human rights defenders
D Lopez ‘Securitisation and its impact on human rights in Latin America’ (2017) 1 Global Campus Human Rights Journal 463

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