After more than 11 years of dictatorship, the first national elections were held in Uruguay, signaling the resumption of democratic life. In this context, the debate on how to deal with the human rights violations that took place during the civil-military regime gave rise to multiple disputes, displaying different strategies of confrontation between political and social actors, which made it possible to visualize the power relations at stake in such context. Criminal charges of kidnappings, disappearances and torture against the military produced important institutional movements that put in check the recently installed Colorado government. The consequence was the vote on the «Expiry Law» (Law No. 15,848) that directly checked the investigations in progress. In response, a resistance network was rapidly activated and coalesced as the National Pro-Referendum Commission, which sought the Law’s annulment through a Referendum. The article proposes a reading of the different power relations, the new actions of resistance in legal frameworks and the political strategies that culminate with the referendum of April 16, 1989.
Human rights, Law of Expiration, resistance, power, National Commission Pro-Referendum