Law on the Expiration of the Punitive Claims of the State

The Law on the Expiration of the Punitive Claims of the State (Spanish: Ley de Caducidad de la Pretensión Punitiva del Estado), called in short the Expiry Law (Spanish: Ley de Caducidad) granted an amnesty of sorts to the military who eventually committed crimes against humanity during the civic-military dictatorship of Uruguay. It was implemented as an ad-hoc solution to a political crisis with the background of military resistance to the Uruguayan redemocratization process in course.

This law was proposed by the first government of Julio María Sanguinetti, co-written by legislators of the two main political parties, Colorado and National, supported by the main opposition leader, Wilson Ferreira Aldunate, and heavily opposed by the Broad Front and other political and social organizations. It was passed by the Uruguayan Parliament on 22 December 1986 and published with the number 15848.[1]

This law was extremely controversial in nature, and was kept in force for a long time:[2] in 1989 and 2009, Uruguayans voted in referendums and decided twice to keep the law, which detractors considered as plain impunity.[3] It was finally repealed in 2011 by law number 18831.[4]


  1. ^ Francisco Gallinal (28 February 2009). "La ley de caducidad". El País. Archived from the original on 12 August 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2010. (in Spanish)
  2. ^ "Uruguay Annual Report 2011". Amnesty International. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  3. ^ "A brief history of Uruguay's Expiry Law". London School of Economics. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Law No. 18831". Parliament of Uruguay. Retrieved 19 November 2017. (in Spanish)

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