This article presents an overview of the cases of Guatemala and Mexico and the “strategic” use of the discourse of human rights in struggles for citizenship in the 1980s and 1990s, first by women's organizations and later by most popular actors We then provide a more general analysis of the many political and economic dynamics that have interacted to create a situation in both Guatemala and Mexico where human rights and citizenship are integrally connected. The role played by women's organizations in Guatemala and by indigenous movements in Mexico in exposing the exclusionary nature of the discourse of universal human rights is discussed. We conclude by considering the possibility that the political work of women and indigenous peoples may point the way to a “new universalism” of rights which can incorporate specificity and difference.
Social Politics
Institute of Political Economy

Blacklock, Cathy, & Macdonald, L. (1998). Human Rights and Citizenship in Guatemala and Mexico: From "Strategic" to "New" Universalism?. Social Politics, 5(2), 132–157. doi:10.1093/sp/5.2.132