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Unlike a conventional war waged against a standing army, a "dirty war" is waged against individuals, groups, or ideas considered subversive. Originally associated with Argentina's military regime from 1976-1983, the term has since been applied to neighboring dictatorships during the period. Indeed, it has become a byword for state-sponsored repression anywhere in the world. The first edition of this reference illustrated the concept by describing the regimes of Argentina, Chile (1973-1990), and Uruguay (1973-1985), which tortured, murdered, and disappeared thousands of people in the name of anticommunism while thousands more were driven into exile. The second edition expands the scope to include Bolivia (1971-1982), Brazil (1964-1985), and Paraguay (1954-1989). In mid-1975 the six countries joined forces, creating Operation Condor, a top-secret military network that hunted down one another's political enemies.
This second edition of Historical Dictionary of "The Dirty Wars" focuses on the period 1954-1990 in South America, when authoritarian regimes waged war on subversion, both real and imagined. This is done through a chronology, an introductory essay, a bibliography, and over 400 cross-referenced dictionary entries on the countries; guerrilla and political movements; prominent guerrilla, human-rights, military, and political figures; local, regional, and international human-rights organizations; and artistic figures (filmmakers, novelists, and playwrights) whose works attempt to represent or resist the period of repression.
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David Kohut is associate librarian at Saint Xavier University. He is coauthor of Women Authors of Modern Hispanic South America: A Bibliography of Literary Criticism and Interpretation (Scarecrow Press, 1989). He is a member of Amnesty International.
Olga Vilella is associate professor at Saint Xavier University. She also directs their Latino/Latin American Studies Program. She is a member of Amnesty International.
In the 'dirty wars,' from 1954 to 1990, governments and the military in Latin America tortured and killed citizens with impunity, or just made them disappear. This is an updated edition of a work originally published in 2003 by the authors as part of the series Historical Dictionaries of War, Revolution, and Civil Unrest. It expands coverage from three to six countries—Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The more than 400 entries cover countries, people in the ruling government or military, those who were crushed by it, political parties, human-rights organizations, guerrilla movements, and artistic expression. Examples of other topics include Catholic Church; Kissinger, Henry; Museum of Memory; and Operation Condor (a network of the military from the countries). Extensive cross-references are noted in bold. The entries are accurate, balanced, and clearly written. A list of acronyms and abbreviations is helpful, and a concise introduction provides a good summary. The work is enhanced by an extensive, well-organized bibliography, mainly English works, which includes government reports, nongovernmental organization reports, testimonials, and recent books and films. Although the work is expensive, it will be very useful for Latin American studies in academic and large public libraries. (Booklist)
The quality of this work is evident in entries involving people, places, events, and organizations.... Highly recommended. (CHOICE)
This concise yet compact 2nd edition offers useful information on the most important people and events associated with the "dirty wars" from 1954-1990 in South America. . . . This is a solid and necessary work on a period in South American history that has garnered a great deal of attention from social scientists. (American Reference Books Annual)
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