Open Access (free)

Sévane Garibian

Open Access (free)

Seeking the dead among the living

Embodying the disappeared of the Argentinian dictatorship through law

Series:

Sévane Garibian

The state policy of enforced disappearances in Argentina, planned and implemented during the military dictatorship of 1976-1983, still has a striking effect: in the absence of any corpses of the disappeared, the families seek the dead among the living. Their quest through the law embodies the victims who were 'disappeared' and thereby placed outside of the law. Argentina is an extraordinary laboratory in the domain of struggle against impunity and of 'restoration of the truth', and constitutes a useful paradigm in the context of reflection on the corpses of mass violence. At Argentina's initiative, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights adopted on 20 April 2005 the first resolution on the right to the truth. The state duty is precisely expressed in the truth hearings and the procedures for mandatory recovery of the identity of stolen children.