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The right to asylum is a central theme in South American political identity. What originated as a way of protecting political leaders in the period of anarchy that followed the independence of these nations became, in the 1940s, a cornerstone of the inter-American political and legal systems. For the first century and a half of national independence in South American countries, the right to asylum was an elite status that guaranteed protection to political leaders deposed by political unrest or fearful of political retribution. These political elites usually sought asylum in neighboring countries: far enough from home for safety, but close enough to continue to participate in the political life of their country. In this sense, the cases of Sarmiento in the 1830s and 1840s and Haya de la Torre in the 1940s are quintessential examples of pre-1960s exile, asylum and the role of exile in Latin American political life.
Doña-Reveco, Cristián, "The Unintended Consequences of Exile: The Brazilian and Chilean Cases in Comparative Perspective, 1964 – 1990" (2012). Latino/Latin American Studies Faculty Publications. 11.