Tina Rosenberg speaks of violence in Latin America, 20 years later


This year marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of Children of Cain, the first book by writer and journalist Tina Rosenberg. After winning the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship for talented young people in 1987, Rosenberg went to Latin America to study political violence in the region and the perpetrators of such crimes.

Rosenberg, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1996, surveyed the situation of six Latin American countries in the 1980s: Colombia, Argentina, Peru, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Chile, identifying different types of violence inflicted from positions of power. In the pages of Children of Cain we find Colombian judges who are impotent in the face of the violence of drug trafficking, Argentine generals with angelic faces who have tortured and murdered thousands, Peruvian women who identify more with Shining Path than with the government of their country, and Chilean activists who forget about their ideals with the coming to power of Pinochet and the economic boom.

ICTJ spoke with Rosenberg about how political violence has evolved in Latin America over the past 20 years, and the continuing need for accountability for past atrocities.

Listen to the podcast (Spanish only).

Read the transcript (English translation).