Brazil and the Transnational Human Rights Movement, 1964-1985

Brazil and the Transnational Human Rights Movement, 1964-1985

By Anna Grimaldi

Anthem Brazilian Studies

Brazil and the Transnational Human Rights Movement, 1964–1985 is about how Brazilians and European solidarity networks collaborated to resist dictatorship in Brazil and contribute to a more expansive definition of human rights.

Hardback, 250 Pages


October 2022

£80.00, $125.00

  • About This Book
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About This Book

Brazil and Transnational Human Rights Movement, 19641985 explores how solidarity for Brazil contributed to the global human rights movement of the 1970s. Through protests, petitions, posters, and numerous other cultural, artistic, and media-based campaigns, solidarity for Brazil popularised the language of human rights and prompted the international community to join the fight against the country’s military regime. But solidarity for Brazil also reframed the debate on human rights itself, stretching the concept beyond mainstream interpretations that emphasised the violation of ‘basic’ individual rights, such as the use of torture and political imprisonment, to also incorporate social and economic rights, inequality, indigenous minorities, and the human rights responsibilities of multinational companies and development projects. Crucial to this process were multiple networks of exiles, catholic activists, journalists, and academics between Brazil and Western Europe, who drew from the Latin American experience to challenge mainstream narratives of human rights from below.

Drawing from extensive archival research across Latin America and Europe, Grimaldi sheds new light on the transnational dimensions of political resistance to the Brazilian dictatorship of 1964–1985. The book demonstrates how, contrary to dominant narratives, human rights solidarity for Brazil was not limited to ensuring the freedom of political prisoners and putting an end to torture and disappearances. Finding themselves at odds with the liberal framework and justification for human rights advocacy popular at the time, Brazilians and their advocates took a distinctive approach by drawing from local experiences and critiquing global political and economic structures and transnational actors alike in violating human rights in Brazil. By bringing these debates to global audiences and to the doorstep of organisations like Amnesty International, the Vatican, and the United Nations, solidarity for Brazil did not simply remain on the fringes of debates about human rights; they actively shaped them.


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Author Information

Anna Grimaldi is a lecturer in Latin American history at King’s College London.


Anthem Brazilian Studies

Table of Contents

Acronyms; Introduction; Chapter 1: Foundations of Solidarity 1964–1969; Chapter 2: Exile, Torture, and Disappearances 1969–1972; Chapter 3: Poverty, Inequality, and Transnational Responsibility 1973–1975; Chapter 4: Brazil and Latin America; Brazil and the Third World 1975–1985; Conclusion; Epilogue.


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