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Lecture: “A Comparative Perspective on the Dirty Wars of Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina”

April 4 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Dr. Adela Cedillo

Presented by Dr. Adela Cedillo, Assistant Professor of Modern Mexican History at the University of Houston

About the presentation: This presentation compares the dirty wars of Brazil, Chile, and Argentina—countries that experienced coups d’état, dictatorships, armed insurgency, and state terror in the 1960s and 1970s—with the case of Mexico, which also had a dirty war, notwithstanding the fact that the country underwent a revolution that put an end to military coups since 1920 and gave birth to a stable political system. The comparative perspective offers a new angle for understanding the causes and escalation of political violence by examining the juxtaposition of the local, transnational, and global contexts. The analysis revolves around the political systems, the socialist armed organizations, the counterinsurgency strategies, and the struggles for human rights and memory. The presentation also explores the similarities between the South American Operation Condor, which was a transnational campaign of terror against left-wing organizations and the opponents to the dictatorships, with the Mexican operation bearing the same name, which was allegedly focused on the eradication of drug crops.

About the presenter: Adela Cedillo is an Assistant Professor of Modern Mexican History at the University of Houston. She earned her Ph.D. in Latin American History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests center around revolutionary movements, counterinsurgency warfare, drug wars, human rights, and female activism. She has published several book chapters and peer-reviewed articles about guerrilla organizations, anti-drug campaigns, and forced disappearances in Mexico. She is the author of El Fuego y El Silencio, Historia de las FLN (Comité ’68 Pro Libertades Democráticas, 2008), and the co-editor with Fernando Herrera Calderon of Challenging Authoritarianism in Mexico. Revolutionary Struggles and the Dirty War, 1964-1982 (Routledge, 2012). Dr. Cedillo is currently working on a book project that examines the intersections between the dirty war and the first war on drugs during the 1970s in northwestern Mexico.

Please note that this lecture will be offered in person, and also online via Zoom. REGISTER FOR ZOOM LINK


April 4
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Room 206 Ingraham Hall
1155 Observatory Drive
Madison, 53706 United States
(608) 262-2811