July 17 marks the death of former Uruguayan strongman Juan María Bordaberry. Bordaberry was 83 years old, with two 30-year prison sentences left to fulfill. After he was democratically elected, Bordaberry transitioned Uruguay’s government into a dictatorship; his rule was quickly marked by disappearances, torture, and killings. His anti-constitutional attacks and human rights abuses are just two of the many subjects of the accusations included in his 2010 trial. One human rights group leader, Irma Leytes, looks upon his death through mixed emotions as well— she recognizes that while “it’s good that a dictator dies … he takes to the grave valuable information about those who were disappeared.” Bordaberry is survived by his wife and nine children.
This update was prepared by COHA Research Associate Rebecca Gorn