The National Institution of Human Rights and Societal Demands for Justice in Uruguay

Dr. Gladys Clemente

The transition from the authoritarian regime to democracy in Uruguay in 1985 was based on negotiations and agreements that set the framework for the restablishement of rule of law, legislatiive and presidential elections, and independency of the judiciary. The contentious issue of the gross violations of human rights during the de facto regime was dealt with a set of norms that ordered the release of political prisoners, provided for legal mechanisms to rehabilitate them into civil society, and, on the other hand, established the extinction of the will of the State to punish those responsible for human rights violations during dictaroship. Based on the analysis of official documents, press articles, and interviews, this paper wil discuss the system of transitional justice in Uruguay taking into account the international dimension with a focus on the relations between the Uruguayan State and the international institutions for the defense of Human Righhts, and the domestic political debate. The focus of this paper is the analysis of the National Institution of Human Rights and Defence of the People, an organism established in 2008 as a government agency for the design of policies related to the defense of human rights, reparations for victims of the authoritarian rule, and programmes on education and empowerment of civil society.