The Reappeared: Argentine Former Political Prisoners

By Rebekah Park | Go to book overview

4
Solidarity and Resistance in Prison

Former political prisoners do not want to talk about torture. In 2008, a group of volunteer psychologists briefly presented themselves at one of AEPPC’s weekly meetings, offering free therapeutic services to the expresos in case the recent trial against former military officials unearthed old memories or created new challenges. It had been nearly three decades since the ex-presos were released from prison, and no one took them up on their offer. As AEPPC member Rosa Noto said in May 2008, after a weekly meeting, “All [psychologists] want to know about is how we were tortured, or if they can conduct a study about our lives as [torture] victims, or give us treatment.” “We have gone for so long without any help,” said another AEPPC member, Américo Aspitia, during a personal conversation in April 2009. Many ex-presos believed that they had already carried on with their lives without having sought out psychological help; the idea of a therapist was seen by many as coming too late. Instead, the AEPPC membership was most interested in recalling memories of resistance and solidarity— about how political prisoners survived and held close their activist identities. “The prison guards would tell you that you had three ways of leaving prison: loco (crazy), puto (fucked), or quebrado (broken),” said AEPPC member Atilio Basso (Basso, October 2008). Ex-presos told stories that proved the military wrong; they had remained steadfast in their activist ideals even in prison and despite torture.

In public venues, the AEPPC president, Sara Liliana Waitman, would argue that political prisoners suffered and continued to suffer the

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The Reappeared: Argentine Former Political Prisoners
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • 1 - "The Battle of the Panties" 1
  • 2 - "They Disowned Us Twice" 23
  • 3 - Suspicion and Collaboration 44
  • 4 - Solidarity and Resistance in Prison 71
  • 5 - Life after Prison Still Feels like Imprisonment 108
  • 6 - Post-Transitional Justice 145
  • Epilogue 156
  • Notes 161
  • Glossary 165
  • References 169
  • List of Former Political Prisoners 175
  • Index 177
  • About the Author 183
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