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Accountability in Hostile Times: the Case of the Peruvian Human Rights Ombudsman 1996–2001*

  • THOMAS PEGRAM (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

This article examines the record of the Peruvian human rights ombudsman between 1996 and 2001, seeking to explain its relative effectiveness under conditions of semi-authoritarian government. It suggests that this can be attributed to three factors: (1) the robustness of the institution's foundations; (2) the capacity of the first appointee and personnel, and; (3) the ability of the institution to build alliances which were able to enhance accountability. Drawing on O'Donnell's theory of a new generation of horizontal accountability mechanisms – that is, appointed, as opposed to elected, institutions – it argues that the human rights ombudsman occupied a distinct position in the Peruvian political system during this period that allowed it to interconnect different actors and arenas of accountability.

<span class='italic'>Resumen:</span>

Este artículo examina el récord del relator de derechos humanos en Perú entre 1996 y 2001, para tratar de explicar su relativa efectividad en condiciones de trabajo bajo un gobierno semi-autoritario. El material sugiere que lo anterior se puede atribuir a tres factores: (1) la fortaleza de los fundamentos institucionales; (2) la capacidad personal del primer designado y su personal y; (3) la habilidad de la institución para construir alianzas capaces de aumentar la rendición de cuentas. Basándose en la teoría de O'Donnell sobre una nueva generación de mecanismos horizontales de rendición de cuentas (instituciones nombradas en vez de electas) el autor señala que el relator de los derechos humanos ocupó una posición distintiva en el sistema político peruano durante este periodo que le permitió interconectar a diferentes actores y áreas para la rendición de cuentas.

Palabras clave: relator, rendición de cuentas, Perú, democratización, instituciones de derechos humanos

<span class='italic'>Resumo:</span>

Esse artigo examina o desempenho do ouvidor de direitos humanos do Peru entre 1996 e 2001. O texto procura explicar sua relativa eficácia, mesmo num governo com inclinações autoritárias. Ele sugere que esse desempenho pode ser atribuído a três fatores: (1) o vigor das fundações da instituição; (2) a capacidade do primeiro nomeado e de seus funcionários, e; (3) a habilidade da instituição em construir alianças que puderam realçar a responsabilidade perante a sociedade. Conforme a teoria de O'Donnel sobre uma nova geração de mecanismos de responsabilidade horizontais – ou seja, instituições nomeadas e não eleitas – ele argumenta que o ouvidor de direitos humanos ocupou uma posição distinta no sistema político peruano durante esse período, o que permitiu com que se interligasse com diferentes atores e áreas de responsabilidade.

Palavras-chave: ouvidor, responsabilidade, Peru, democratização, direitos humanos, instituições

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Fredrik Uggla , ‘The Ombudsman in Latin America,Journal of Latin American Studies, vol. 36, no. 3 (2004), p. 448

David Collier and Steven Levitsky , ‘Democracy with Adjectives: Conceptual Innovation in Comparative Research’, World Politics, vol. 49, no. 3 (1997), pp. 430–51

Steve Ellner , ‘The Contrasting Variants of the Populism of Hugo Chavez and Alberto Fujimori’, Journal of Latin American Studies, vol. 35 (2003), pp. 139–62

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Journal of Latin American Studies
  • ISSN: 0022-216X
  • EISSN: 1469-767X
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-latin-american-studies
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