This chapter links the moral training received by soldiers and security forces in Argentina to the treatment applied to the bodies and corpses of prisoners during clandestine state terrorism (1976-1983). Between 1955 and 1976, future perpetrators of mass crimes were indoctrinated on the necessity and feasibility of applying extreme violence against a section of the Argentine population, which became responsible for the exacerbation of political violence. This indoctrination built an imaginary destruction, in which the slaughter was first performed specifically imagined before. From oral sources, judicial and journalistic, this work establishes a preliminary typology that accounts for the main methodologies used by the groups responsible for clandestine repression of different social actors (armed or unarmed) to destroy and / or hide their bodies.
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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book shows the undeniable contribution and the limits of the biopower theory in the understanding of dead bodies en masse. It talks about the fact that criminology has for so long ignored mass crime, even though the link between the corpse and the criminal is one of the fundamentals of the discipline. The book addresses the issue of the practical and symbolic treatment of corpses by societies affected by mass violence. It shows how working ideologies along with historical legacy and geographical landscapes determined the disposal of the bodies. The book examines the simultaneously diplomatic and medicolegal nature of the activities of the French Search Commission for Corpses of Deportees in Germany. It also draws on German archives to describe the various modalities of treatment of corpses in Croatia.