Many Latin American countries are moving towards increased accountability for past human rights violations. There is a growing international consensus that some crimes simply cannot be exempted from prosecution according to international law. Uruguay has had a deeply split response to this international development. While the Supreme Court and the political elite pushed to end impunity, the public in a plebiscite in 2009 ratified the 1985 amnesty law protecting the military from prosecution. The amnesty law was finally overturned by parliament in 2011. This paper traces the winding road from impunity to accountability in Uruguay, in the context of substantial public support for impunity.
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