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The mothers of the disappeared protesting for answers regarding their missing loved ones in Chile circa 2005.
Chile under Pinochet by
"When the army comes out, it is to kill."--Augusto Pinochet Following his bloody September 1973 coup d'état that overthrew President Salvador Allende, Augusto Pinochet, commander-in-chief of the Chilean Armed Forces and National Police, became head of a military junta that would rule Chile for the next seventeen years. The violent repression used by the Pinochet regime to maintain power and transform the country's political profile and economic system has received less attention than the Argentine military dictatorship, even though the Pinochet regime endured twice as long. In this primary study of Chile Under Pinochet, Mark Ensalaco maintains that Pinochet was complicit in the "enforced disappearance" of thousands of Chileans and an unknown number of foreign nationals. Ensalaco spent five years in Chile investigating the impact of Pinochet's rule and interviewing members of the truth commission created to investigate the human rights violations under Pinochet. The political objective of human rights organizations, Ensalaco contends, is to bring sufficient pressure to bear on violent regimes to induce them to end policies of repression. However, these efforts are severely limited by the disparities of power between human rights organizations and regimes intent on ruthlessly eliminating dissent.
God's Assassins: State Terrorism in Argentina in the 1970s by
God's Assassins tells the story of state terrorism in Argentina through interviews with participants on all sides of this issue. They include military officers, "third world" priests, Catholic church officers who supported military objectives and methods, former members of guerrilla movements, survivors of prison camps, journalists, trade unionists, and others who experienced state terrorism in Argentina. Patricia Marchak combines excerpts from these interviews with documents and media reports from the time and her own insightful study of Argentina's history to provide an analysis of the process as well as the causes of state terrorism. The graphic and moving interviews in God's Assassins show the complexity of these causes and indicate that there is no simple explanation of the period. Was the head of a major guerrilla movement a double agent? Did the intelligence service actually believe it was engaged in the third world war? Why did the Catholic church turn on its own priests? Through her interviews, Marchak reveals much that will never appear in official documents.
Missing: Persons and Politics by
Stories of the missing offer profound insights into the tension between how political systems see us and how we see each other. The search for people who go missing as a result of war, political violence, genocide, or natural disaster reveals how forms of governance that objectify the person are challenged. Contemporary political systems treat persons instrumentally, as objects to be administered rather than as singular beings: the apparatus of government recognizes categories, not people. In contrast, relatives of the missing demand that authorities focus on a particular person: families and friends are looking for someone who to them is unique and irreplaceable. In Missing, Jenny Edkins highlights stories from a range of circumstances that shed light on this critical tension: the aftermath of World War II, when millions in Europe were displaced; the period following the fall of the World Trade Center towers in Manhattan in 2001 and the bombings in London in 2005; searches for military personnel missing in action; the thousands of political "disappearances" in Latin America; and in more quotidian circumstances where people walk out on their families and disappear of their own volition. When someone goes missing we often find that we didn't know them as well as we thought: there is a sense in which we are "missing" even to our nearest and dearest and even when we are present, not absent. In this thought-provoking book, Edkins investigates what this more profound "missingness" might mean in political terms.
The Quiet Revolutionaries by
The last three decades of the twentieth century brought relentless waves of death squads, political kidnappings, and other traumas to the people of Guatemala. Many people fled the country to escape the violence. Yet, at the same moment, a popular movement for justice brought together unlikely bands of behind-the-scenes heroes, blurring ethnic, geographic, and even class lines. The Quiet Revolutionaries is drawn from interviews conducted by Frank Afflitto in the early 1990s with more than eighty survivors of the state-sanctioned violence. Gathered under frequently life-threatening circumstances, the observations and recollections of these inspiring men and women form a unique perspective on collective efforts to produce change in politics, law, and public consciousness. Examined from a variety of perspectives, from sociological to historical, their stories form a rich ethnography. While it is still too soon to tell whether stable, long-term democracy will prevail in Guatemala, the successes of these fascinating individuals provide a unique understanding of revolutionary resistance.
This guide is intended to provide users with resources on the human rights issue of enforced and involuntary disappearances throughout history.
This guide will provide contextual information regarding these disappearances, as well as selected books in the Gumberg library catalog, research articles and databases, and significant research material on this subject. You can navigate to a specific country's page (listed by continent) to find more information regarding this topic using the tabs at the top of the guide.
Artist Latuff's tribute to Argentine documentary filmmaker Raymundo Gleyzer, who was kidnapped by a military dictatorship in South America, 1976.
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