Across Latin America, the military's gaining power and moving into politics – with support of Christian fundamentalist groups
The government and the military got caught up in a struggle for power – in a country that’s generally considered one of the Latin America’s shining examples of democracy. Yes, in Uruguay, Guido Manini, head of the country’s armed forces, recently criticised ‘the bias of the judiciary’ in investigating the breaches of human rights under the military dictatorship.
In a recent report, he was quoted as accusing the courts of having neglected due process and passed sentences on forces personnel without sufficient proof. Manini had already publicly claimed that ‘nobody cares what happened 40 years ago’ and also repeatedly disrupted searches for the remains of victims ‘disappeared’ by the dictatorship by giving false information to their relatives. But the latest accusation turned out to be the straw which broke the camel’s back.
President Tabaré Vasquez responded immediately to the report, ordering Manini into his office and dismissing him on the spot. This was the first time anything of the sort had happened in Uruguay – and proved to be something of a double-edged sword, positioning Manini as an opposition candidate for this autumn’s presidential elections. The country’s media soon jumped on board, writing the dismissed general up as ‘Uruguay’s Bolsonaro’ in reference to neighbouring Brazil’s right-wing extremist head of state with a military background.
A Latin American trend
The Presidential Family, by Fernando Botero, 1967