Adam Klasfeld, “U.S. Faces Call to Action on Lost Migrant Children,” Courthouse News Service

For New York University professor Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a scholar on authoritarian regimes, the missing migrant children in the United States recalled the plight of Chile and Argentina’s desaparecidos – with some differences.

“With an authoritarian regime come #desaparecidos,” Ben-Ghiat tweeted on Thursday night along with a report on the missing migrants.
While U.S.-backed dictators Augusto Pinochet and Jorge Rafael Videa intentionally targeted people for disappearance over political dissent, Ben-Ghiat noted in a phone interview these men had a mindset that Trump has admired in foreign leaders.

“Trump has been very admiring of how Duterte has handled his kind of drugs and criminals, and Duterte often boasts that he has pushed his enemies out of a helicopter, and he’d do it again,” Ben-Ghiat said today.
She noted Chile’s Pinochet infamously killed his political enemies through this same method.

“These strongmen kind of weaponize their bodies and they associate themselves with violence, even before they get to power,” the scholar added.

Ben-Ghiat finds disturbing echoes in that trend to Trump’s campaign speech from early 2016, boasting that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue in New York without losing any supporters.

“That was the biggest red flag,” she said.

Adam Klasfeld, “U.S. Faces Call to Action on Lost Migrant Children,” Courthouse News Service
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