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Patricio Galella

During the Spanish Civil War, extrajudicial executions and disappearances of political opponents took place and their corpses were buried in unregistered mass graves. The absence of an official policy by successive democratic governments aimed at the investigation of these cases, the identification and exhumation of mass graves, together with legal obstacles, have prevented the victims families from obtaining reparation, locating and recovering the human remains. This paper argues that this state of affairs is incompatible with international human rights law and Spain should actively engage in the search for the whereabouts and identification of the bodies with all the available resources.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
Jenny Edkins

; searching for remains that can be identified. At the same time, the missing person’s room is often kept ready, their possessions pristine, a note on the door in case they should return. When the person has gone missing as a result of enforced disappearance, there is a third imperative: holding the authorities to account, demanding their co-operation, exposing their culpability, and seeking justice. In this chapter, I examine two particular forms that this demand for justice has taken, both in Mexico, where disappearances are ongoing, not in the past. First, I look at a

in Change and the politics of certainty
Embodying the disappeared of the Argentinian dictatorship through law
Sévane Garibian

2 Seeking the dead among the living: embodying the disappeared of the Argentinian dictatorship through law 1 Sévane Garibian Y así seguimos andando curtidos de soledad, y en nosotros nuestros muertos pa’ que nadie quede atrás. (Atahualpa Yupanqui 2) Introduction The state policy of enforced disappearances in Argentina, planned and implemented during the military dictatorship of 1976–83, still has a striking effect today: in the absence of any corpses of the disappeared, the families seek the dead among the living. Their quest through the law embodies the

in Human remains and mass violence
Author: Jenny Edkins

Despite the imperative for change in a world of persistent inequality, racism, oppression and violence, difficulties arise once we try to bring about a transformation. As scholars, students and activists, we may want to change the world, but we are not separate, looking in, but rather part of the world ourselves. The book demonstrates that we are not in control: with all our academic rigour, we cannot know with certainty why the world is the way it is, or what impact our actions will have. It asks what we are to do, if this is the case, and engages with our desire to seek change. Chapters scrutinise the role of intellectuals, experts and activists in famine aid, the Iraq war, humanitarianism and intervention, traumatic memory, enforced disappearance, and the Grenfell Tower fire, and examine the fantasy of security, contemporary notions of time, space and materiality, and ideas of the human and sentience. Plays and films by Michael Frayn, Chris Marker and Patricio Guzmán are considered, and autobiographical narrative accounts probe the author’s life and background. The book argues that although we might need to traverse the fantasy of certainty and security, we do not need to give up on hope.

Open Access (free)
Jenny Edkins

the politics of certainty chapters draw on early prototype essays written as spin-offs from what seemed at one time to be the main trajectory of my work: an examination of sovereignty and subjectivity – or, to put it otherwise, personhood and politics – in the various contexts of famines, war and enforced disappearance. The embryonic essays arose as reflections on ‘events’, or from encounters with plays, films or exhibitions, or as responses to invitations to contribute chapters or talks. It turns out that these marginal writings are in fact not peripheral at all

in Change and the politics of certainty
Open Access (free)
The bodyand counter-revolutionary warfare inapartheid South Africa
Nicky Rousseau

offered instead a categorization of killings: judicial executions, assassinations, elimi­nation during arrest, enforced dis­appearances followed by elimination, ambushes, entrapment operations, killing of own forces.5 Apartheid legislation allowed for the killing of political suspects through judicial execution when found guilty of offences of terrorism, sabotage, or treason.6 Additionally, generous indemnity regulations protected police officers responsible for shooting ‘rioters’ in civil unrest.7 If apartheid is understood as a regime that relied on coercion with

in Destruction and human remains
Open Access (free)
Jenny Edkins

the face of violence, working alongside those already involved in this every day rather than studying them from the outside. Each of the chapters has approached the question of how this might work in different ways. Concepts and practices such as memory studies, security and intervention, and enforced disappearance have formed the ground for these explorations. Central to the discussion has been the idea of a demand for justice, but what justice might be has not been addressed. Giving up on changing the world involves traversing the fantasy that we can know what

in Change and the politics of certainty
Open Access (free)
The tales destruction tells
Élisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus

the killing fields of the Cambodian genocide, the rice fields that served as places of execution, where the vast majority of the 2 million bodies of the victims of the Khmer Rouge were abandoned. The second category of treatment of the body is ‘concealment’, which can also take several forms, from an enforced disappearance under the seal of secrecy to a publicly orchestrated confiscation. The corpse is then removed from society, hidden, and sometimes buried, but not always; it can also be thrown into wells, caves, or lakes. It is therefore sometimes previously

in Destruction and human remains
Open Access (free)
Victim, witness and evidence of mass violence
Caroline Fournet

recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court; (i) Enforced disappearance of persons; (j) The crime of apartheid; (k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.7 An explicit reference to the ‘human body’ within this definition might seem purely rhetorical since the text of the law does protect the physical integrity of the human being (since ‘physical integrity

in Human remains and mass violence
Missing persons and colonial skeletons in South Africa
Nicky Rousseau

described as an enforced disappearance, was the term employed by the TRC. Personal observations during the period of working with the MPTT. P.  B. Hayner, Unspeakable Truths: Facing the Challenge of Truth Commissions (New York: Routledge, 2002), pp. 24–7. For the TRC mandate, see the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act 34 of 1995, available at www.justice.gov.za/legislation/acts/1995-034.pdf (accessed 20 January 2014); for the TRC’s interpretation of its mandate see TRC, Report, vol. 1, ch. 4, pp. 48–102. SAPA, ‘Come clean: Mandela’, 26 April 1997

in Human remains and identification