Business and Human Rights in Latin America: An Introduction to the Special Issue

Humberto Cantú Rivera, Danielle Anne Pamplona, Ulf Thoene

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In his landmark 1967 novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez wrote about the ‘Banana Massacre’, where plantation workers that had been striking against the United Fruit Company to improve their working conditions were killed by the military. Despite being an event depicted in a magic realism novel, this example also shows some of the characteristics of Latin America, where colonialism, the close relationship between business and governments, and the incessant fight to protect people from human rights abuses, often converge not just in literature, but in real life. Indeed, Latin America is marked by contradictions between very progressive domestic human rights frameworks and increasing levels of social inequality and poverty; by being part of global value chains while also having an important percentage of informal economy; and by promoting the development of rules and practices without a sufficiently strong rule of law and fragile democracies. To some extent, as the land of magic realism, the business and human rights field in many cases is a real-life example of the nuances and complexities of the region, where progress and challenges are frequently intertwined
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-341
Number of pages7
JournalBusiness and Human Rights Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


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