CIVIL LIBERTIES IN THE ABSENCE OF LEGISLATIVE INTELLIGENCE OVERSIGHT: LESSONS LEARNED FROM URUGUAY
Bihar, Alejandro M.
Mabry, Tristan J.
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This thesis analyzes contemporary civil-military relations in Uruguay with respect to its intelligence organizations. Uruguay operated for twelve years under military dictatorship until 1985, when the country peacefully transitioned to democracy. During the military rule, the Uruguayan intelligence agency, Service of Defense Information, conducted countless human rights violations to include torture, non-judicial killings, and disappearances in support of domestic prerogatives and regional military operations. Despite military constraints, the nation returned to democratic rule. The advancements in rule of law, civil and political society, and flourishing democratic institutions led experts to conclude that Uruguay had achieved consolidation of democracy by 1992. Given the past atrocities of the Uruguayan intelligence agency, this research seeks to understand how a lack of formal legislative intelligence oversight impacts civil liberties and public perception of intelligence in Uruguay. Using a civil-military relations framework for analysis of civilian control, effectiveness, and intelligence culture, this thesis concludes that in the absence of formal mechanisms of democratic institutional oversight and control, informal mechanisms will emerge in the protection of civil liberties.
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