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Disappearances in the Post-Transition Era in Latin America$
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Karina Ansolabehere, Barbara A. Frey, and Leigh A. Payne

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197267226

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197267226.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 07 December 2021

Woman, Mother, Human Rights Defender

Woman, Mother, Human Rights Defender

(p.125) 6 Woman, Mother, Human Rights Defender
Disappearances in the Post-Transition Era in Latin America

Débora Maria da Silva

Raiane Patrícia Severino Assumpção

British Academy

In this chapter, Débora Maria da Silva gives testimony to the disappearance and killing of her son Edson on 15 May 2006 in Santos, São Paulo, Brazil. His death occurred as part of what has been termed the ‘May Crimes’ in which state security forces have been implicated in the murder and enforced disappearance of hundreds of youths in that month alone. Mothers, like Débora Maria da Silva, organised the May Mothers group to seek investigation and redress for the crimes they call a genocide of young, poor, black youths. Because state authorities deem these victims to be criminals, not because of their acts but because of what they look like and where they live, they become ‘disposable’. Mothers have transformed their personal loss into collective action to demand an end to the violence, investigation into deaths and disappearance, and justice for wrongdoing.

Keywords:   Brazil, Disappearance, Genocide, Killing, May Mothers, May Crimes, Youth

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