The Berlin International Human Rights Congress (BIHRC)

"Human Rights and Democracy in a Globalized World - Moving Towards an International Consensus"

(Berlin; October 1st - 4th, 2010)

Human Rights Introduction


Latin American Dictatorships end (Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay)

1982 Guido Vildoso was appointed interim President of Bolivia, following a number of short-lived dictatorships and military coups, before the democratic election of Hernán Siles.  Vildoso was later acknowledged by the Bolivian Congress for the part he played in restoring democracy to Bolivia, and for developing the fundamentals of an economic plan that would later be used to revive the Bolivian economy.

1983 With corruption, a failing economy, a growing public awareness of the harsh repressive measures taken by the regime, and defeat in the Falklands War, the public image of Argentina’s military governement deteriorated. Reynaldo Bignone, the last President of the regime, was forced to call elections. On 30th October Raúl Alfonsín was democratically elected. Alfonsín began his administration by fulfilling campaign promises, such as repealing Bignone's blanket amnesty for those guilty of human rights abuses, and revoking the decree authorising wiretapping without a warrant.

1984 In Uruguay massive protests against military rule broke out. After a 24-hour general strike, talks began and the armed forces announced a plan for return to civilian rule. National elections followed, and Julio María Sanguinetti won the presidency.  His administration implemented economic reforms, and consolidated democratisation.

1989 Having served for 35 years, Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner was ousted in a military coup by Andrés Rodríguez. Rodríguez went on to cancel Stroessner's most repressive measures, abolish the death penalty, and to try and imprison some leading members of the Stroessner government. He then called elections and was democratically elected.