Latin America

Topics: Dirty War, Forced disappearance, Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo Pages: 11 (1703 words) Published: September 27, 2014

Forced Disappearance
A forced disappearance “occurs when a person is secretly abducted or imprisoned by a state or political organization or by a third party with the authorization, support, or acquiescence of a state or political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the person's fate and whereabouts, with the intent of placing the victim outside the protection of the law”(Wikipedia). In 1975 about 30,000 people disappeared and were horrifically tortured and killed in Argentina. It wasn’t until 1984 that it became known that the Argentine government was behind the death of the 30,000 people in Argentina. The government of Argentina’s main tactic for “insurgency” was known as forced disappearance. However, for what reason did Argentina’s government use forced disappearance, and were they successful in their act based on the effects? Essentially, the Argentine government used the hidden method of forced disappearance because it allowed them to torture/kill without being accountable for their actions and it was essentially easier to cover up. “These hidden methods kept the Argentine government from being susceptible to international scrutiny and allowed the murder and torture of anyone without someone having to be held accountable to explain for the actions”(Wikipedia). However, through these hidden acts, the government was responsible for torturing Argentinians along with ripping hundreds of families apart but was not successful due to its effects. The cause of the Argentine government’s atrocious actions against its own people is deeply rooted in the political affairs of the country at the time. After Peron’s death in 1974, antagonistic political forces contained under the umbrella of the Justicialist Party were unleashed. “The increasing chaos within Isabel Peron’s administration and mounting political violence led to a military coup in 1976 and the beginning of one of the bloodiest periods of Argentine history” (“The Argentina Reader: History, Culture, Politics”). The persecution of political dissidents, which began two years before the coup, was institutionalized and expanded to create a systematic killing machine. “The period 1955-66 marked the worsening of a crisis that embraced and embraces numerous facts of Argentine society” (Modernization and Military Coups). This horrific event of persecution was known as the “Dirty War”.The Dirty War was a period of seven years when terrorists fought against political officials, left-wing guerrillas, and anyone who associated with socialism or was even suspected to be associated with socialism. “Videla and his junta first sought after to rid society of were trade unionists, college students, protesters, and rights activists”(Wikipedia). Later, forced disappearances started happening throughout the country. Local police officers and other military officials kidnapped people in the middle of the night no matter where they were. Family members would go to the store or a friend's house only to never return. Once these random kidnappings started to occur more frequently, it started to become evident that officials were kidnapping anyone they suspected who were against the government even if they did not have valid proof.

The military’s and officials’ main motivation for using forced disappearance instead of any other method was because it was easier to cover up and there wouldn’t be accountable for it. “Without any dead bodies, the government could easily deny any knowledge of their whereabouts and any accusations that they had been killed. In addition, the forced disappearances were the military junta’s attempt to silence the opposition and break the determination of the guerrillas.” Forced disappearances are a lot less public and obvious than any other method. The military did not want their fingerprints all over the massacre, resulting in a more stealth-oriented strategy. Had the government been more brash and open about killing off their targets, more...

Cited: Lisé, Gloria. Departing at Dawn: A Novel of Argentina 's Dirty War. New York: Feminist at the City U of New York, 2009. Print.
Nouzeilles, Gabriela, and Graciela R. Montaldo. "State Violence." The Argentina Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Durham: Duke UP, 2002. 396-97. Print.
"Dirty War." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2014..
"Speaking Truth to Power Madres of the Plaza De Mayo." Madres of the Plaza De Mayo (Women in World History Curriculum). N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2014. .
Kohut, David R., Olga Vilella, and Beatrice Julian. Historical Dictionary of the "dirty Wars" Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2003. Print.
"Forced Disappearance." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. .
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