TITLE

BETWEEN REPRESSION AND REFORM: A STRANGER'S IMPRESSIONS OF ARGENTINA AND BRAZIL

AUTHOR(S)
Stern, Fritz
PUB. DATE
July 1978
SOURCE
Foreign Affairs;Jul1978, Vol. 56 Issue 4, p800
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article presents an impression on the repression and reform in Argentina and Brazil. Buenos Aires, Argentina is a European city, elegant, depressed, melancholy, somehow reminiscent of Europe in the 1930s. Like so many European cities of that decade, Buenos Aires has a deceptive air of normality. The Argentineans are proud of their Europeanness; many boasted that they are the most European of all the Americans; some even thought they were more European than the Europeans. Their political life rivals in disaster what some of the European countries have suffered: the joys and ravages of Peronism, civil war, runaway inflation, military repression. Argentineans often refer to their experience with urban terrorism and its suppression as the form that the Third World War has taken. Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, by contrast, has wealth and old culture; it has conservative chic and a slower pace than the metropolis to the south. There was an expectancy as well: the political system was thought to be in a process of change, and politics was the dominant topic. Brazilians are proud that their country had a less searing political experience than their southern neighbors; but the political shifts have been dramatic enough. To the upper classes, the military appeared as saviors. They restored order--by subverting it. Basic rights were suspended, as was political life itself. Years of turmoil and repression followed; here, too, guerrillas waged a desperate struggle, involving bank robberies, abductions, killings, and the regime unleashed the full instrumentality of counterinsurgency, including torture, against the left-wing guerrillas. In the end the state prevailed.
ACCESSION #
4851603

 

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