Since the mid-1990s more and more Argentines have been taking to the streets to express their dissatisfaction with the growing levels of poverty, social exclusion and violence. As part of this growing trend, the Movimiento del Dolor (a social movement consisting of the family members of victims of police violence) emerged as a protest against unaccountable law enforcement practices. Contrary to the expectation that, after the 1983 democratic transition, state violence against citizens would cease, the 25 years of democracy that followed have been characterized by high levels of police violence and impunity. During this time, there have been repeated instances of improper use of arms, torture and extortion on the part of the police force of the province of Buenos Aires, the Bonaerense. Government and the judiciary have also been accused of inaction and outward complicity in the criminal conduct of this police force. With citizenship severely undermined, the Movimiento del Dolor decided to publicly denounce such human rights violations. As a result, police violence and impunity gained a place on the societal and political agenda, and several police reforms have been enacted. This book will offer a critical discussion of the interplay among the phenomena police violence, democracy and social movements – and in particular the Movimiento del Dolor. It explores the causes and forms of police violence, police reform, and the methods of police governance. It also analyses the emergence of the Movimiento del Dolor, its claims for citizenship, and its repertoire of collective action. In addition, it examines the relationship between the Movimiento del Dolor and the Argentine state, as well as the significance of this movement in Argentine society and politics. This approach affords insight into not only why human rights violations by the police continue to occur in contemporary Argentina but also into how these abuses affect the quality of democracy, how relations between the state and civil society work, and what changes social movements possibly bring about within a democracy that has fault lines. As such, the book will show the dynamics inherent in a democratizing society that is characterized, on the one hand, by an active and mobilized civil society, generally fair elections and reduced military power and, on the other hand, the continuation of police violence, impunity, lack of political legitimacy and accountability, and the co-opting of social movements
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.