Lawfare: The Criminalization of Democratic Politics in the Global South


In Lawfare: The Criminalization of Democratic Politics in the Global South, Zaffaroni, Caamaño and Vegh Weis offer an account of the misuse of the law to criminalize progressive political leaders in Latin America. Indeed, more and more popular political leaders in the region are being imprisoned or prosecuted, even while in power. Inacio Lula da Silva is the quintaessential case of this worrying process. Despite the centrality of this juridical-political phenomenon in Latin America, it is little known to the Anglo-Saxon public. This book aims to fill this gap. In an accessible style, the authors deconstruct the legal language and the main problematics of lawfare, drawing attention to the fact that it may end up destroying the rule of law in order to promote the most cruel forms of neoliberalism.

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Eugenio Raúl Zaffaroni, PhD in Law, Secretary General of the Latin American Association of Criminology and Criminal Law, and Vice President of the International Association of Criminal Law. In 2009 he received the Stockholm Prize in Criminology. He served as a Justice of the Argentine Supreme Court, and as the General Director of the United Nations Latin American Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders. He is the author of Criminology and Criminal Policy Movements and La Palabra de los Muertos among many other books.

Cristina Caamaño, Argentine Ambassador, former Comptroller of the Argentine Federal Intelligence Agency, member of the INECIP Board of Directors, and Professor at Buenos Aires University (UBA). She has been a Professor at the University of the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo, and at the Education in Federal Prison Program. She is the author of Manual práctico para defenderse de la cárce, Manual para el preso extranjero, and El delito de administración fraudulenta.

Valera Vegh Weis, PhD in Law (UBA), LLM in Criminal Law (UBA), and LLM in International Public Law (New York University). She is a Research Fellow at the Zukunftskolleg at Konstanz University in Germany and a Professor at UBA School of Law and at the National University of Quilmes. She is also the Vice-president of the Latin American Institute of Criminology and Social Development. Vegh Weis is the author of Criminalization of Activism and Marxism and Criminology: A History of Criminal Selectivity. She was awarded the Critical Criminologist of the Year Award in 2021.
Series Editor
David Fasenfest, York University, Canada

Editorial Board
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Duke University
Chris Chase-Dunn, University of California-Riverside
William Carroll, University of Victoria
Raewyn Connell, University of Sydney
Kimberlé W. Crenshaw, University of California, Los Angeles/Columbia University
Raju Das, York University, Canada
Heidi Gottfried, Wayne State University
Karin Gottschall, University of Bremen
Alfredo Saad-Filho, King's College London
Chizuko Ueno, University of Tokyo
Sylvia Walby, Royal Holloway, University of London
Foreword to the Spanish Edition  
Lula da Silva



Notes on Contributors

Introduction to the English Version
  Valeria Vegh Weis

1 The Destruction of Criminal Law
  Eugenio Raúl Zaffaroni

2 The Destruction of Law of Criminal Procedure
  Cristina Caamaño

3 The Destruction of Criminology
  Valeria Vegh Weis

4 Some Exemplary Lawfare Cases
  Cristina Caamaño, Eugenio Raúl Zaffaroni and Valeria Vegh Weis

First Afterword
  Eli Gómez Alcorta

Second Afterword
  Atilio Boron


All interested in the in the criminalization of Latin-American progressive leaders and anyone concerned with the deployment of the criminal law to manipulate democracy.
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