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This Happened

This Happened—January 2: The Trial Of The Century

Billed as “the trial of the century,” the case begins against Richard “Bruno” Hauptmann, accused of kidnapping and killing the 20-month-old son of renown aviator Charles Lindbergh.

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Who was Richard “Bruno” Hauptmann?

Bruno Hauptmann was a German immigrant who was accused of breaking into famous aviator Charles Lindbergh, house in March 1932 to kidnap his young child, Charles Jr.. The kidnapper left a ransom note.

What happened to Charles Lindbergh’s child?

Despite numerous back and forth attempts to exchange the child for ransom money, the corpse of Charles Lindbergh Jr. was discovered months later by the side of a road.

What was the Bruno Hauptmann trial’s verdict?

The trial created a furor because of Lindbergh’s celebrity and the grizzly nature of the crime. Legal scholars called it “the trial of the century”. Bruno Hauptmann never confessed, but was found guilty on Feb. 13, 1935. He was executed in the electric chair the following year. Some investigators have since questioned the independence of the trial.

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Geopolitics

The Trumpian Virus Undermining Democracy Is Now Spreading Through South America

Taking inspiration from events in the United States over the past four years, rejection of election results and established state institutions is on the rise in Latin America.

Two supporters of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro dressed in Brazilian flags during a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Bolsonaro supporters dressed in national colours with flags in a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on November 4, 2022.

Ivan Abreu / ZUMA
Carlos Ruckauf*

-Analysis-

BUENOS AIRES — South Africa's Nelson Mandela used to say it was "so easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build."

Intolerance toward those who think differently, even inside the same political space, is corroding the bases of representative democracy, which is the only system we know that allows us to live and grow in freedom, in spite of its flaws.

Recent events in South America and elsewhere are precisely alerting us to that danger. The most explosive example was in Brazil, where a crowd of thousands managed to storm key institutional premises like the presidential palace, parliament and the Supreme Court.

In Peru, the country's Marxist (now former) president, Pedro Castillo, sought to use the armed and security forces to shut down parliament and halt the Supreme Court and state prosecutors from investigating corruption allegations against him.

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