Beyond the dirty war : urban reforms and protest during the last military dictatorship, 1976-1983

Date
2012-05
Authors
Hoyt, Jennifer Tamara
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Beyond the Dirty War is part of the second wave of studies to examine the last military government of Argentina, which controlled the nation from 1976 to 1983. The first generation of histories rightfully focused on state terror and the human rights violations committed by the regime. However, more recent scholarship has started to examine other aspects of the armed forces’ agenda. Through large-scale urban reforms in Buenos Aires, the military government attempted to resolve long-standing issues. The generals in charge sought to curb chaotic urban growth and transform the capital into a modern metropolis, thereby accomplishing a task with which previous administrations had struggled. However, the military quickly encountered vocal public opposition to the reforms. Citizens rebuked efforts to reshape the capital city, condemning the mayor’s unilateral actions and the flaws in the projects. Despite the terror that characterized the period, residents created productive spaces for dissent and demanded that regime be held accountable for its failures. Through the lenses of political participation, urbanization, and environmentalism, this study reveals the vulnerability of the authoritarian government and the limits of its repression.

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