Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Sources for the study of Latin America

Drawing of people with the Chilean flag, against a stylised background of factory roofs

Archives at the Modern Records Centre include a large amount of material relating to Latin America, particularly with regard to human rights, trade union and labour movements, and international trade. This guide provides a general overview of some of the main sources, arranged by country. It is not a comprehensive list of all available documents - you will be able to find more material by searching our online catalogue for the names of places, individuals and subjects.

Latin America and South America: general

Central America Women's Network

The Central America Women's Network (CAWN) worked in partnership with women’s organisations in Central America to support them in defending their rights. CAWN fostered links between women’s organisations in the United Kingdom and Central America and raised awareness of the concerns of Central American women amongst the public and policy makers. The CAWN archive includes reports, minutes, planning documents, newsletters, briefing papers, leaflets, etc., dating from 1985-2016.

Federation of British Industries

The FBI archive includes reports, committee minutes and correspondence about British trade with South and Latin America from 1919-1964.

International Transport Workers' Federation

The ITF archive includes administrative material and publications relating to trade union organisation (particularly in the transport sector) in the region from 1939 onwards. Publications include the pamphlets 'Labor Parties of Latin America', 1942, and 'Labour Movements in Latin America', 1947, by Robert Alexander.

World University Service

The WUS archive includes files on specific Latin American countries and more general material relating to Latin American refugees, political persecution and education during the 1970s and early 1980s.

Additional collections:

Argentina

Amnesty International

The Amnesty International collection includes more than 100 reports, press releases and articles on human rights in Argentina between 1975 and 2011. These are included in the 'country-code' series and are individually listed in the catalogue - 1975-1998 and 2000-2011.

Some Amnesty International publications will also be available through their website.

Federation of British Industries

The FBI archive includes reports, circulars and correspondence relating to British trade with Argentina between 1919-1964. These include a report from a 1923 FBI 'mission' to South America and a file on trade talks between the two countries in the run-up to the 1951 Anglo-Argentine trade agreement.

Trades Union Congress

The TUC archive includes a series of subject files on Argentina from 1950-1979. The main focus of the files is on the trade union and labour movement in the country, and they include correspondence with Argentinian trade unions and a set of British government reports on the labour movement and social conditions in Argentina between 1959-1969. The file covering the period between 1976-1979 includes documents relating to conditions in the country after the 1976 coup, human rights abuses during the 'Dirty War' and protests relating to the 1978 World Cup.

The TUC's general files on South America, 1929-1949 and 1946-1949, also contain material relating to Argentina, including a copy of the 1947 bill of rights of the workers proclaimed by General Juan Peron.

International Transport Workers' Federation

The ITF archive includes correspondence files and other material relating to trade union organisation in Argentina from the early 20th century onwards (the contents are in various languages, including Spanish, English, German and Dutch). The collection also includes a 1921 'programme of international socialist action' published by the Partido Socialista.

World University Service

The WUS archive includes documents relating to human rights in Argentina after the 1976 coup (particularly with regard to persecution of university employees and students), including reports, circulars and leaflets produced by WUS and other organisations.

Additional collections

Additional documents relating to Argentina are contained in various archive collections, including:

Bolivia

Amnesty International

The Amnesty International collection includes more than 30 reports, press releases and articles on human rights in Bolivia between 1977 and 2011. These are included in the 'country-code' series and are individually listed in the catalogue - 1977-1998 and 2000-2009.

Some Amnesty International publications will also be available through their website.

Trades Union Congress

The TUC archive includes several subject files on Bolivia from 1952-1982. The main focus of the files is on the trade union and labour movement in the country, and they include correspondence with Bolivian trade unions and a set of British government reports on the labour movement and social conditions in Bolivia between 1961-1970.

World University Service

The WUS archive includes documents relating to human rights in Bolivia during the late 1970s. These include a file of reports on the Bolivian situation produced by various organisations (including the Anti-Slavery Society and Contemporary Archive on Latin America) and a 1977 report on 'Trade union and human rights in Chile and Bolivia', written by a members of a delegation from the British National Union of Mineworkers.

Additional collections

Additional documents relating to Bolivia are contained in various archive collections, including:

Brazil

Amnesty International

The Amnesty International collection includes more than 120 reports, press releases and articles on human rights in Brazil between 1972 and 2011. These are included in the 'country-code' series and are individually listed in the catalogue - 1972-1999 and 1999-2011.

Some Amnesty International publications will also be available through their website.

Eric Hobsbawm

The historian Eric Hobsbawm visited Brazil on various occasions during the 1960s-1990s. His archives contain files of research material, etc., relating to Brazil, including academic articles, press cuttings, political ephemera and notes. His collection also includes notes made during Hobsbawm's interview with Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazilian politician, in 1992.

Federation of British Industries

The FBI archive includes reports, circulars and correspondence relating to British trade with Brazil between 1916-1964. These include a British Chamber of Commerce in Brazil report on goods and manufacture, trade etc between Brazil and the British Empire, 1918, a report of a 1919 visit to Brazil, and a report of a 1923 visit to Brazil.

Trades Union Congress

The TUC archive includes a series of subject files on Brazil from 1945-1990. The main focus of the files is on the trade union and labour movement in the country (including human rights abuses against trade unionists in the 1970s and 1980s). They include correspondence with Brazilian trade unions and a set of British government reports on the labour movement and social conditions in Brazil between 1960-1967.

International Transport Workers' Federation

The ITF archive includes correspondence files and other material relating to trade union organisation in Brazil from the early 20th century onwards (the contents are in various languages, including Portuguese and Spanish). The collection includes a file on political issues in Chile between 1974-1986.

Additional collections

Additional documents relating to Brazil are contained in various archive collections, including:

Chile

Amnesty International

The Amnesty International collection includes more than 220 reports, press releases and articles on human rights in Chile between 1973 and 2010. These are included in the 'country-code' series and are individually listed in the catalogue - 1973-1999 and 2000-2010.

Some Amnesty International publications will also be available through their website.

Trades Union Congress

The TUC archive includes documents relating to Chile in a series of subject files on the country, 1952-1990, and in other files on South / Latin America. The main focus of the files is on the trade union and labour movement in the country, but there is also a significant amount of material relating to the solidarity movement in Britain after the 1973 coup, and protests against human rights abuses by the Pinochet regime.

World University Service

After the 1973 coup, the World University Service (WUS) worked to support Chilean refugees in Britain. The WUS archive collection includes administrative material relating to the Joint Working Group for Refugees from Chile in Britain and the Academics for Chile Co-ordinating Committee, reports on conditions in Chile, and campaign material relating to the Chile Solidarity movement.

Margaret Stanton

Margaret Stanton was involved with the establishment and running of the Birmingham Friends of Chilean Popular Unity / Chilean Solidarity Campaign and the Birmingham Chilean Refugees Reception Committee. Her archives include administrative papers, publicity material and press cuttings relating to national (UK) and local campaigns on Chile after the 1973 coup.

Norman Jacobs

Norman Jacobs was a trade union representative (of the Civil and Public Services Association) on the committee of the Chile Solidarity Campaign. His archive includes three files of administrative papers and publicity material relating to CSC between 1982-1985.

National Society of Operative Printers and Assistants

The NATSOPA collection includes three files relating to the Chile solidarity movement in Britain, 1972-1977. Documents include correspondence about visits to Britain by Chilean officials before and after the overthrow of the Allende Government, correspondence relating to political prisoners, and publicity material regarding protests against the post-1973 military regime.

International Transport Workers' Federation

The ITF archive includes correspondence files and other material relating to trade union organisation, etc., in Chile from the 1930s onwards (the contents are in various languages, including Spanish and English).

Additional collections

Colombia

Amnesty International

The Amnesty International collection includes more than 160 reports, press releases and articles on human rights in Colombia between 1977 and 2011. These are included in the 'country-code' series and are individually listed in the catalogue - 1977-2000 and 1999-2011. Amnesty International material relating to Colombian refugees in 1996-7 is also included in the series on Panama.

Some Amnesty International publications will also be available through their website.

Trades Union Congress

The TUC archive includes a series of subject files on Colombia from 1950-1990. The main focus of the files is on the trade union and labour movement in the country, and they include correspondence and ephemera from Colombian trade unions and a set of British government reports on the labour movement and social conditions in Colombia between 1960-1967.

Eric Hobsbawm

The historian Eric Hobsbawm visited Colombia on various occasions during the 1960s-1980s, and researched and wrote on La Violencia and contemporary politics. His archives contain files of research material, etc., relating to Colombia, including academic articles, press cuttings, political ephemera and notes. His collection also includes notes made during Hobsbawm's interview with Belisario Bentancur, President of Colombia, and a copy of the resulting article published in 1984. Documents are in English and Spanish.

Additional collections

Additional documents relating to Colombia are contained in various archive collections, including:

Cuba

Amnesty International

The Amnesty International collection includes more than 80 reports, press releases and articles on human rights in Cuba between 1965 and 2009. These are included in the 'country-code' series and are individually listed in the catalogue - 1965-1999 and 2000-2010.

Some Amnesty International publications will also be available through their website.

Trades Union Congress

The TUC archive includes several subject files on Cuba from 1950-1990, as well as documents relating to the country included in files on other subjects. The main focus of the files is on the trade union and labour movements in the country, and they include correspondence and ephemera from Cuban trade unions.

Maitland Sara Hallinan collection

This collection of radical publications includes journals and pamphlets published by left-wing groups in both the UK and USA, which contain information about the political and economic situation in Cuba from the 1930s-1970s.

International Transport Workers' Federation

The ITF archive includes correspondence files and other material relating to trade union organisation in Cuba from the early 20th century onwards (the contents are in various languages, including Spanish, German and French).

Jimmy Deane

Correspondence, journals, pamphlets, leaflets, etc. on Cuba (and the Cuban missile crisis) in the early 1960s. Most items were either written from a Trotskyist perspective or published in Cuba. The collection includes a Cuban pamphlet about the US base at Guantanamo Bay, c.1963, and several Cuban Ministry of Foreign Relations pamphlets which contain speeches by Fidel Castro, 1962.

Dick Etheridge

Documents relating to 'Cuba solidarity' and a 1964 visit to Cuba made by Etheridge, including diary, notes for a speech (in Britain), photographs, travel documents, postcards, programme for visit, correspondence, text of fraternal greetings, draft article, publications (in English and Spanish) and memorabilia.

Eric Hobsbawm

The historian Eric Hobsbawm visited Cuba in the 1960s. His archives contain publications, academic papers and notes, 1960-1976, including descriptive notes of his visit, c.1961, conference papers on 'La liberacion economica de Cuba' (speakers included Che Guevara), 1960, and 'Obra Revolucionaria' conference report (speakers included Fidel Castro).

Socialist Party

Documents relating to Cuban solidarity movements in Britain during the 1960s-1980s. Includes circulars of the Cuban Defence Committee (Nottingham branch) around the time of the Cuban missile crisis, 1963 report on visit to Cuba, two pamphlets containing speeches by Fidel Castro, and other publications.

Additional collections:

Additional documents relating to Cuba are contained in various archive collections, including:

Dominican Republic

Amnesty International

The Amnesty International collection includes 15 reports, press releases and articles on human rights in the Dominican Republic between 1978 and 2009. These are included in the 'country-code' series and are individually listed in the catalogue - 1978-1997 and 2000-2009.

Some Amnesty International publications will also be available through their website.

Additional collections:

Additional documents relating to the Dominican Republic are contained in various archive collections, including:

Ecuador

Amnesty International

The Amnesty International collection includes more than 50 reports, press releases and articles on human rights in Ecuador between 1978 and 2011. These are included in the 'country-code' series and are individually listed in the catalogue - 1978-1999 and 2000-2011.

Some Amnesty International publications will also be available through their website.

Trades Union Congress

The TUC archive includes a series of subject files on Ecuador from 1950-1969. The main focus of the files is on the trade union and labour movement in the country, and they include correspondence from Ecuadorian trade unions and a set of British government reports on the labour movement and social conditions in Ecuador between 1962-1968.

Additional collections

Additional documents relating to Ecuador are contained in various archive collections, including:

El Salvador

Trades Union Congress

The TUC archive includes documents relating to El Salvador in a series of subject files on the country and in more general files on South / Latin America, 1970-1990. The main focus of the files is on the trade union and labour movement in the country, and there is a significant amount of material relating to human rights during the 1980s.

Amnesty International

The Amnesty International collection includes more than 100 reports, press releases and articles on human rights in El Salvador between 1977 and 2008. These are included in the 'country-code' series and are individually listed in the catalogue - 1977-1999 and 2000-2008.

Some Amnesty International publications will also be available through their website.

World University Service

The WUS archive includes documents relating to human rights and education in El Salvador during the 1970s and 1980s.

Additional collections

Additional documents relating to El Salvador are contained in various archive collections, including:

Guatemala

Amnesty International

The Amnesty International collection includes more than 200 reports, press releases and articles on human rights in Guatemala between 1975 and 2009. These are included in the 'country-code' series and are individually listed in the catalogue - 1975-1999 and 2000-2009.

Some Amnesty International publications will also be available through their website.

Trades Union Congress

The TUC archive includes a series of subject files on Guatemala from 1951-1990. The main focus of the files is on the trade union and labour movement in the country (including human rights abuses against trade unionists in the 1970s and 1980s). They include correspondence with Guatemalan trade unions and a set of British government reports on the labour movement and social conditions in Guatemala between 1960-1965.

Additional collections

Additional documents relating to Guatemala are contained in various archive collections, including:

Haiti

Amnesty International

The Amnesty International collection includes more than 70 reports, press releases and articles on human rights in Haiti between 1977 and 2011. These are included in the 'country-code' series and are individually listed in the catalogue - 1977-1999 and 2000-2011.

Some Amnesty International publications will also be available through their website.

Additional collections

Additional documents relating to Haiti are contained in various archive collections, including:

Honduras

Amnesty International

The Amnesty International collection includes more than 40 reports, press releases and articles on human rights in Honduras between 1980 and 2010. These are included in the 'country-code' series and are individually listed in the catalogue - 1980-1999 and 2000-2010.

Some Amnesty International publications will also be available through their website.

Trades Union Congress

The TUC archive includes several subject files on British Honduras and Belize from 1939-1960, as well as documents relating to the country during the 1980s included in the general files on South and Latin America. The main focus of the files is on the trade union and labour movements in the country (including human rights abuses against trade unionists during the 1980s), and they include correspondence and ephemera from Honduran trade unions.

Central America Women's Network

The CAWN archive includes reports on violence against women in Honduras, 2008, 2011 and 2014, and documents relating to CAWN projects in the country.

Additional collections

Additional documents relating to Honduras are contained in various archive collections, including:

Mexico

Amnesty International

The Amnesty International collection includes more than 110 reports, press releases and articles on human rights in Mexico between 1978 and 2011. These are included in the 'country-code' series and are individually listed in the catalogue - 1978-1999 and 1999-2011.

Some Amnesty International publications will also be available through their website.

Trades Union Congress

The TUC archive includes a series of subject files relating to Mexico from 1924-1984. The main focus of the files is on the trade union and labour movement in the country. They include correspondence with Mexican trade unions, reports, memoranda, ephemera, and a set of British government reports on the labour movement and social conditions in Mexico between 1961-1970. The contents are in English and Spanish.

Maitland Sara Hallinan collection

This collection of radical publications includes British anarchist journals from 1912-1920 which contain coverage of the Mexican Revolution, and later publications from Communist, Trotskyist and other left-wing groups regarding the political and economic situation in Mexico.

International Transport Workers' Federation

The ITF archive includes correspondence files and other material relating to trade union organisation and activities of ITF members in Mexico from the 1920s onwards (the contents are in various languages, including Spanish, English, German and Dutch). The collection also includes copies of the ITF Mexican newsletter for 1944-5.

Federation of British Industries

The FBI archive includes reports and correspondence relating to British trade with Mexico between 1950-1965. These include a report on the prospects for British manufacturing in Mexico and Colombia, 1960.

Additional collections

Additional documents relating to Mexico are contained in various archive collections, including:

Nicaragua

Trades Union Congress

The TUC archive includes documents relating to Nicaragua in a series of subject files on the country, 1960-1988, and in files on South / Latin America and the USA. The main focus of the files is on the trade union and labour movement in the country, and there is a significant amount of material relating to US intervention, human rights and British solidarity movements during the 1980s.

Amnesty International

The Amnesty International collection includes more than 30 reports, press releases and articles on human rights in Nicaragua between 1976 and 2011. These are included in the 'country-code' series and are individually listed in the catalogue - 1976-1996 and 2001-2011.

Some Amnesty International publications will also be available through their website.

Central America Women's Network

The CAWN archive includes reports, etc., relating to women's rights, CAWN projects and violence against women in Nicaragua, 1988-2016.

World University Service

The WUS archive includes documents relating to human rights, education and the solidarity movements from the 1970s and 1980s.

Additional collections

Panama

International Transport Workers' Federation

The ITF archive includes correspondence files and other material relating to trade union organisation and shipping in Panama during the 1940s-1990s, including documents relating to the use of flags of convenience.

Amnesty International

The Amnesty International collection includes 16 reports, press releases and articles on human rights in Panama between 1988 and 1996. These are included in the 'country-code' series and are individually listed in the catalogue.

Some Amnesty International publications will also be available through their website.

Additional collections

Additional documents relating to Panama are contained in various archive collections, including:

Paraguay

Amnesty International

The Amnesty International collection includes more than 50 reports, press releases and articles on human rights in Paraguay between 1966 and 2011. These are included in the 'country-code' series and are individually listed in the catalogue - 1966-1997 and 2001-2011.

Some Amnesty International publications will also be available through their website.

Trades Union Congress

The TUC archive includes a series of subject files on Uruguay and Paraguay from 1950-1978. The main focus of the files is on the trade union and labour movement in the country, and they include correspondence from Latin American trade unions and a set of British government reports on the labour movement and social conditions in the two countries between 1960-1968.

Eric Hobsbawm

The historian Eric Hobsbawm visited Paraguay during the 1970s and his archives contain files of research material, etc., relating to the country, including academic articles and notes. Documents are in English and Spanish.

Additional collections

Additional documents relating to Paraguay are contained in various archive collections, including:

Peru

Amnesty International

The Amnesty International collection includes more than 180 reports, press releases and articles on human rights in Argentina between 1973 and 2011. These are included in the 'country-code' series and are individually listed in the catalogue - 1973-1999 and 2000-2011.

Some Amnesty International publications will also be available through their website.

Trades Union Congress

The TUC archive includes several subject files on Peru from 1950-1970. The main focus of the files is on the trade union and labour movement in the country, and they include correspondence from Peruvian trade unions and a set of British government reports on the labour movement and social conditions in Peru between 1959-1967.

Eric Hobsbawm

The historian Eric Hobsbawm visited Peru during the 1970s and his archives contain files of research material, etc., relating to the country, including academic articles, political pamphlets, press cuttings, ephemera and notes. Documents are in English and Spanish.

Additional collections

Additional documents relating to Peru are contained in various archive collections, including:

Uruguay

Amnesty International

The Amnesty International collection includes more than 70 reports, press releases and articles on human rights in Uruguay between 1974 and 2011. These are included in the 'country-code' series and are individually listed in the catalogue - 1974-1997 and 2003-2011.

Some Amnesty International publications will also be available through their website.

Federation of British Industries

The FBI archive includes reports and correspondence relating to British trade with Uruguay between 1919-1964. These include a file on Uruguay and Latin America industrial research, 1945-1954.

Trades Union Congress

The TUC archive includes a series of subject files on Uruguay and Paraguay from 1950-1978. The main focus of the files is on the trade union and labour movement in the country, and they include correspondence from Latin American trade unions and a set of British government reports on the labour movement and social conditions in the two countries between 1960-1968.

World University Service

The WUS archive includes documents relating to human rights in Uruguay during the late 1970s. These include a report on 'Chile, Argentina, Uruguay: An outline of conditions in 1977'.

Additional collections

Additional documents relating to Uruguay are contained in various archive collections, including:

Venezuela

Amnesty International

The Amnesty International collection includes more than 30 reports, press releases and articles on human rights in Venezuela between 1979 and 2011. These are included in the 'country-code' series and are individually listed in the catalogue - 1979-1999 and 2000-2011.

Some Amnesty International publications will also be available through their website.

Trades Union Congress

The TUC archive includes several subject files on Venezuela from 1950-1972. The main focus of the files is on the trade union and labour movement in the country, and they include correspondence from Venezuelan trade unions and a set of British government reports on the labour movement and social conditions between 1959-1970. The TUC journal 'Labour' also includes an article ('Peron is not the only dictator in South America') about Venezuela in 1952.

Federation of British Industries

The FBI archive includes documents relating to British trade with Venezuela, including files relating to Federation of British Industries representation in Caracas during the 1940s and 1950s.

Additional collections

Additional documents relating to Venezuela are contained in various archive collections, including: