By Rafael Braun



In this paper, Braun approaches the question of human rights in United States-Latin American relations from an essentially political perspective in order to offer a wide explanatory context for understanind why a topic on which presumable there should be agreement had been, in fact, a source of conflict during the 1980s. 

In its first section, Braun explores the dimensions and sources of ambiguity contained in the expression "human rights".  The paper then examines the mechanisms which Braun considers to be desirable in promoting respect for human rights, including the role of the state, of voluntary associations, of multilateral institutions, and of the United States government in bilateral relations. Finally, the paper analyzes the possibilities for cooperation and conflict between Latin America and the United States on human rights issues in the 1980s and 1990s.