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26 Colum. Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 483 (1994-1995)
Compensation for Human Rights Abuses in Zimbabwe

handle is hein.journals/colhr26 and id is 491 raw text is: COMPENSATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
by Michael Garcia Bochenek*
We don't have a human rights problem - we have dissidents.
Zimbabwe was suffering from a siege mentality, and its
leaders were at least in some things paranoid. In
Matabeleland, so they believed, and so all the world was told,
guerrilla armies lurked in the bush that seems made for
guerrilla war. There were murders in isolated white
farmhouses, and some were burned down. How easy to
believe that South Africa pulled the strings here too.
Mugabe's response to this threat was to send in troops that
were mostly Mashona, and they terrorized villages up and
down Matabeleland in a consistent and deliberate and
merciless policy of intimidation. They pillaged, they raped,
they burned. In some villages half the inhabitants were
killed. When they talk about this time some people start
weeping or cursing or both, for these savage events wounded
Zimbabwe's idea of itself.'
In the last half of this century, the notion of human rights has
become a legitimate concern of international law, a variable in the
calculus of national foreign policy, and, increasingly, an issue in
domestic politics. One of the most remarkable aspects of the
international human rights movement is the extent to which the
victims of state-attributed abuses have been able to compel their
governments to tell the truth and to compensate for past abuses.
*   B.A., Michigan State University (1991); J.D., Columbia University (expected
1995). Head Notes Editor, Columbia Human Rights Law Review (1994-95); Articles
Editor, Columbia Journal of Gender and Law (1993-94). The author spent nine months
at the University of Zimbabwe in 1991 and returned to Zimbabwe as a Columbia Human
Rights Intern for three months in 1993.
I am grateful to Professor Alejandro Garro and Sandra Flow for their extensive
substantive suggestions and to Marc DuBois, Lee Feldshon, Martha Fineman-Sowers,
Catherine Harries, Kathryn Ivers, Angela Lloyd, and Kirk Sherriff for their creative
ideas, support and inspiration.
**  John Tsimba, Zimbabwe Government Spokesman (Jan. 1986), quoted in Lawyers
Committee for Human Rights, Zimbabwe: Wages of War: A Report on Human Rights 8
*** Doris Lessing, African Laughter: Four Visits to Zimbabwe 145-46 (1992).

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