Roles and Responsibilities of the Private Sector in Transitional Justice Processes in Latin America - The cases of Colombia, Guatemala, and Argentina

09 Aug 2021

During the second half of the 20th century, several Latin American societies underwent periods of widespread brutal repression and/or internal armed conflict that left in their wake a legacy of massive human rights violations and significant weakening of democratic institutions. For decades, generations of pro-democracy and pro-human rights advocates have sought to rebuild the political institutions and systems in those countries, as well as to address the legacy of victimization and respond to the needs of the victims.

Although efforts to confront the region’s past political violence are still ongoing, patterns of authoritarianism and repression have proven to be powerful, long-lasting and dangerous. The process of piecing together the truth is still incomplete, and each day brings with it the possibility of new revelations; however, the relationship between economic elites, repression and conflict has been a constant in the findings of transitional justice mechanisms in the region. It is worth noting that in most Latin American countries that have undergone some type of transitional justice process, private sector accountability has been limited.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Private Sector in Transitional Justice Processes in Latin America: The cases of Colombia, Guatemala, and Argentina provides an overview of corporate complicity in the perpetration of grave human rights violations during some of the most notable periods of repression and conflict in those countries and considers how the issue of private sector involvement has been addressed by transitional justice mechanisms. This report presents lessons learned for the ongoing efforts to promote accountability and considers the obstacles that remain. Moreover, it concludes with recommendations for future research, for governments and official transitional justice mechanisms, for victims and civil society, and for the private sector.

Click here to read the report.