How has Latin America pioneered the field of transitional justice (TJ)? Do approaches vary across the region? This Element describes Latin American innovations in trials and truth commissions, and evaluates two influential models that explain variation in TJ outcomes: the Huntingtonian and Justice Cascade approaches. It argues that scholars should complement these approaches with one that recognizes the importance of state capacity building and institutional change. To translate domestic/international political pressure and human rights norms into outcomes, states must develop 'TJ capabilities'. Not only should states be willing to pursue these highly complex policies, they must also develop competent bureaucracies.