The Reappeared: Argentine Former Political Prisoners

By Rebekah Park | Go to book overview

NOTES

CHAPTER 1: “THE BATTLE OF THE PANTIES”
1. The Spanish word desaparecer (to disappear) became a part of the new vocabulary of life under state repression. As a transitive verb, “to disappear someone,” meant that the military kidnapped and tortured victims in secret torture camps; but there are no legal records. After the military killed “disappeared persons,” they disposed of the bodies in unmarked graves or at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean to intentionally eliminate evidence. Just as the Spanish language reflected this reality, I adopt the same usage in English.
2. In Spanish, the word used was chupar.
3. Argentine human rights activists speak about their activism as demands for memory, truth, and justice, and often refer to the immediate post-dictatorship era as the time in which their country “returned to democracy.”
4. During the dictatorship, the military dispatched groups of men dressed in civilian clothing whose objective was to hunt down their targets through surveillance and large-scale operations. These men were armed and worked with both the military and the police to kidnap and to disappear people with collaboration from nearly all levels of authority, including the justice system.
5. There existed other human rights organizations before, during, and after the dictatorship, including the Argentine League for the Rights of Man, the Ecumenical Movement for Human Rights, and the Peace and Justice Service. The family-based groups, however, became the dominant actors in Argentina’s transitional justice process. I discuss the formation of the AEPPC in relation only to the family-based groups, because they are the major figures in the Argentine human rights movement.
6. In Córdoba, there were two D2 locations. One was located on Mariano Moreno, and the other was located next door to the town’s cathedral, in one part of the Cabildo.
7. While the former political prisoners did not recognize any specific patterns in where they were taken, I noticed that prisoners in Córdoba after 1976, were often taken to D2, then to La Perla and to La Ribera, and eventually to UP1. At UP1, the men and women were separated and transferred to another concentration camp, or to the large prison Villa Devoto in Buenos Aires if they were women, and Penitentiary Unit Number 9 in La Plata (U9) if they

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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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