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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

Disappearances in Post-Transitional Argentina: A Challenge for Human Rights Interventions

Disappearances in Post-Transitional Argentina: A Challenge for Human Rights Interventions

(p.168) 10 Disappearances in Post-Transitional Argentina: A Challenge for Human Rights Interventions
Disappearances in the Post-Transition Era in Latin America

Natalia Federman

Marcela Perelman

Michelle Cañas Comas

Gastón Chillier

British Academy

This chapter aims to evaluate and share the knowledge gained on disappearances in Argentina from the period of State Terrorism to the democratic context. The widespread enforced disappearances that took place under State Terrorism, and the cases of police brutality and disappearances that have occurred since the democratic transition, have prompted the authors to consider the contrasts and the continuities from the dictatorship (1976-1983) to the present period of democratic rule. Disappearances continue to occur in which the state is involved in some way, but these do not meet the strict legal definition of enforced disappearances. They are the result of the lack of extensive institutional reforms and the continuity of bureaucratic designs since the dictatorship ended. By analysing the cases of disappearances of Luciano Arruga in 2009 and Santiago Maldonado in 2017, the chapter demonstrates that contemporary disappearances respond to logics and dynamics different from those that occurred under the state-driven plan designed to eliminate political opponents. The narrative that emerged from that earlier period shaped both the Inter-American and International systems’ norms outlawing, preventing and punishing the use of enforced disappearances. In the current post-transition era, the unexplained absence of someone who is especially vulnerable to unlawful police practices strikes a sensitive chord and echoes the painful past. The authors challenge human rights activists to consider ways to revise the international human rights framework to develop the legal tools to respond to these disappearances in which state agencies are involved but in a different manner than in the past.

Keywords:   Argentina, Disappearances, Human rights, Luciano Arruga, Santiago Maldonado, State terrorism

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