Clara Duterme

Established during the Guatemalan Peace Process, the Oslo Accord contemplates the question of compensating the victims of internal armed conflict. Not only was this accord founded on the principles of victims rights, but it also intends to contribute to the democratic reconstruction of Guatemalan society through a process of recognition of victims status and memory – intended to have a reconciling function. The article focuses on the work of two organisations implementing the Oslo Accord and aims to analyse the discourses and practices of the local actors and their perception of the application of victims rights. Civil society actors and members of the National Compensation Programme demonstrate different approaches both in practical work and in representations of what is right. However, revendication of local cultural values is present in all actors discourse, revealing their ambiguous position in regard to state government.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Corpse, bodypolitics and contestation in contemporary Guatemala
Ninna Nyberg Sørensen

11 Governing through the mutilated female body: corpse, bodypolitics and contestation in contemporary Guatemala1 Ninna Nyberg Sørensen Introduction This chapter examines the brutal killing of women in post-war Guatemala, the interpretations that these murders engender and the place of the dead bodies in the country’s contestations over sovereignty. It grows out of having lived and worked (with other issues) in the country 2005–9 and by being horror-struck by Guatemala’s ever present perverse blend of beauty and terror: The breath-taking range of landscapes

in Governing the dead
Challenges and technological solutions to the ­identification of individuals in mass grave scenarios in the modern context
Gillian Fowler and Tim Thompson

these challenges exist has had some success in the Balkans and in Guatemala, two areas that have experienced brutal civil wars for a number of years. More recently, the analysis of elemental and osteometric measures on the body have demonstrated potential in attempts to reassociate remains. Ultimately however, technological developments complement extensive ante-mortem investigation and the two cannot be utilized independently if the required end result is to successfully identify victims. The search for and identification of corpses and human remains in post

in Human remains and identification
Open Access (free)
Sovereignty and the politics of dead bodies
Editor: Finn Stepputat

This book looks at sovereignty as a particular form of power and politics. It shows that the fate of bodies in the transition from life to death can provide a key to understanding fundamental ways in which sovereignty is claimed and performed. The contributions analyse (post-)conflict as well as non-conflict contexts, which too often are studied in isolation from one another. Focusing on contemporary issues rather than the equally important historical dimensions, they all grapple with the questions of who governs the dead bodies, how, why and with what effects. The book analyses how dead bodies are placed and dealt with in spaces between competing, overlapping and nested sovereign orders, under normal as well as exceptional conditions. It looks at contributions that draw on psychoanalysis, critical theory, the structuralist-functionalist anthropology of burial rituals and recent ideas of agency and materiality. The book first explains the efforts of states to contain and separate out dead bodies in particular sites. It explores the ways in which such efforts of containment are negotiated and contested in struggles between different entities that claim the dead bodies. The book then shows how entities that claim sovereignty produce effects of sovereignty by challenging and transgressing the laws regarding the legitimate use of violence and how dead bodies should be treated with dignity.

Author: Sara De Vido

The book explores the relationship between violence against women on one hand, and the rights to health and reproductive health on the other. It argues that violation of the right to health is a consequence of violence, and that (state) health policies might be a cause of – or create the conditions for – violence against women. It significantly contributes to feminist and international human rights legal scholarship by conceptualising a new ground-breaking idea, violence against women’s health (VAWH), using the Hippocratic paradigm as the backbone of the analysis. The two dimensions of violence at the core of the book – the horizontal, ‘interpersonal’ dimension and the vertical ‘state policies’ dimension – are investigated through around 70 decisions of domestic, regional and international judicial or quasi-judicial bodies (the anamnesis). The concept of VAWH, drawn from the anamnesis, enriches the traditional concept of violence against women with a human rights-based approach to autonomy and a reflection on the pervasiveness of patterns of discrimination (diagnosis). VAWH as theorised in the book allows the reconceptualisation of states’ obligations in an innovative way, by identifying for both dimensions obligations of result, due diligence obligations, and obligations to progressively take steps (treatment). The book eventually asks whether it is not international law itself that is the ultimate cause of VAWH (prognosis).

Open Access (free)
Corpses and mass violence: an inventory of the unthinkable
Élisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus

Rwandan genocide. The continent of America has seen political ‘disappearances’ under Argentina’s military dictatorship,10 along with mass killings in Guatemala between 1981 and 1983,11 and the successive waves of violence which have shaken Haiti since the beginning of the twentieth century. Taken together, these further genocides and massacres force us to consider the European experience in light of mass violence per­petrated across the globe throughout the twentieth century. The social sciences, although somewhat slow to address the phenomenon of genocide, have

in Human remains and mass violence
Open Access (free)
Tony Addison

democracy if the underlying causes of social polarization remain. For instance, the peace agreement that ended 36 years of civil war in Guatemala included explicit economic measures to redress the grievances of the disadvantaged indigenous population (who formed the core of the insurrection). But it has been tough to fulfil these promises: measures to raise taxes on higher-income groups to pay for the provision of basic services to the indigenous and poor population have struggled through a legislature that is traditionally dominated by Guatemala’s wealthy elite. If

in Democratization through the looking-glass
Impact of structural tensions and thresholds
Eşref Aksu

intervention in Guatemala in 1954 and the Soviet intervention in Hungary in 1956. 49 Strategic bipolarity would make it practically impossible for the UN to intervene in conflicts, be they inter- or intra-state, if they were located within the US and Soviet spheres of influence, or in some way cut across the interests and priorities of either Washington or Moscow. The idea of UN peacekeeping matured almost at

in The United Nations, intra-state peacekeeping and normative change
Open Access (free)
Simona Giordano, John Harris and Lucio Piccirillo

also infected with syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases in Guatemala. The ‘research subjects’ included orphan children. We know of several other studies conducted in the US that involved the injection of cancerous cells and exposure to radioactive substances, including uranium, and of many other studies in microbiology conducted similarly in China, Great Britain, Sweden, Italy and Russia. Well after the end of the Second World War, and well after the Nuremberg Trials and the publication of the Nuremberg Code on ethical research, the Tuskegee Syphilis

in The freedom of scientific research
Open Access (free)
Finn Stepputat

how these images of past and present inform ideas of property relations and the social relations embedded therein. Ninna Nyberg Sørensen adds an explicit gender perspective to the analysis of sovereignty and dead bodies as she explores the phenomenon of ‘femicide’ or ‘feminicide’ in the context of post-war Guatemala. Describing the development of the killing of women and the sites and state in which their dead bodies were found, the analysis generates an interpretation of feminicide as linked to the increasing influence of parallel, ‘corporate’ powers and their

in Governing the dead