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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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Letters for Santiago

Letters for Santiago

(p.163) 9 Letters for Santiago
Disappearances in the Post-Transition Era in Latin America

Sergio Maldonado

Germán Maldonado

Stella Peloso

Enrique Maldonado

British Academy

Santiago Maldonado disappeared on 1 August 2017 in the Argentine province of Chubut, while participating in a public act in defense of the indigenous Mapuche Pu Lof community’s land rights. The protest was repressed by the National Gendarmerie. He was disappeared for 78 days. This chapter presents the public letters that Santiago Maldonado's two brothers and parents addressed to him while he was missing and after his lifeless body was found. The letters reflect the deep emotional impact of disappearance and the barriers families face in accessing justice. They express the family’s distress at not knowing Santiago's whereabouts, the pain of losing him, and their struggle for the truth against a set of mechanisms aimed at hiding it. With the strong support of the public, the family managed to reverse the official denial of Santiago’s disappearance that had revictimised him and them.

Keywords:   Disappearance, Justice, Maldonado, Memory, State violence, Truth

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