From dictatorship to democracy in Latin America.

The majority presence of democratic governments in Latin America is an indubitable reality. Nevertheless, the combinations of light and shadow on this same map do not leave room for easy celebration. While we congratulate ourselves on the frequency with which we participate in electoral processes, what cannot be minimized is the persistence of varying degrees of deficiency in institutional procedures that, in certain cases, facilitates the violation of elementary rights and guarantees of very broad sectors of the population of a country and, in others, has underscored a significant inability on the part of the State to guarantee the right to life and physical integrity of its citizens.

In 2010, the member institutions of the Latin American Network of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, proposed the creation of a photographic exhibit whose images would illustrate particularly notable instances in the recent political histories of our countries.

It was a group effort carried out by the institutions in each country which chose the most representative or iconic images of the transition from authoritarian governments or dictatorships to democracy, of transitions from internal armed conflict to democratic processes or, by case, images of instances considered to be milestones or points of fracture or inflexion in the social and political history of recent decades.

The photographs in each panel stand on their own, but the three panels that depict events in each of the nine countries that compose the exhibit establish a sequence that provides an overall linkage.

As with all collective tasks, the organization of the exhibition was not a simple undertaking due to practical factors deriving from distance and the implications of a task added to the individual agendas and programs of our institutions, yet also – and here in a clearly positive sense – to the effort to reach the consensus required to build a representative selection that would take into account the differing perspectives of each country.

Upon designing the activity we set ourselves a twofold objective: In the first place we wished to work on the possibility of producing a travelling exhibit which by means of very simple mechanisms, could be printed and exhibited in each of the sites of the network members and in other institutions. The second objective was to induce debate on the way in which – in the exhibits and museum collections of our institutions – we represent the transitions or milestones in the recent history we aspire to relate.

Its authors are the following institutions:

* Agrupaci�n de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos de Paine (Paine, Chile)
* Asociaci�n Caminos de la Memoria (Lima, Per�)
* Archivo Hist�rico de la Polic�a Nacional (Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala)
* Archivo Provincial de la Memoria (C�rdoba, Argentina)
* Asociaci�n Paz y Esperanza (Per�)
* Casa por la Memoria y la Cultura Popular (Mendoza, Argentina)
* Centro Cultural por la Memoria de Trelew (Argentina)
* Centro Cultural y Museo de la Memoria - MUME (Montevideo, Uruguay)
* Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoam�rica (La Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala)
* Centro Fray Bartolom� de las Casas (San Crist�bal de Las Casas, M�xico)
* Corporaci�n Parque por la Paz Villa Grimaldi (Santiago, Chile)
* Direcci�n de Derechos Humanos del Municipio de Mor�n (Mor�n, Argentina)
* Direcci�n de Verdad, Justicia y Reparaci�n (Asunci�n, Paraguay)
* Estadio Nacional (Santiago, Chile)
* Memoria Abierta (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
* Memorial Da Resistencia (San Pablo, Brasil)
* Movimiento Ciudadano Para que no se Repita (Per�)
* Museo de la Memoria (Rosario, Argentina)
* Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos (Santiago, Chile)
* Museo de las Memorias: Dictaduras y Derechos Humanos (Asunci�n, Paraguay)
* Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen (San Salvador, El Salvador)
* Museo Memorial de la Resistencia Dominicana (Santo Domingo, Rep�blica Dominicana)
* N�cleo da Preservacao da Mem�ria Pol�tica (San Pablo, Brasil)
* Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (Acteal, M�xico)