“Alive they were taken, and alive we want them back!”
The images filled the front pages of Mexico’s newspapers: 61 half-dressed state policemen kneeling, with their hands tied, in the main square of the town of Tepatepec in the central state of Hidalgo, while local residents threatened to burn them alive.
The recovery of “grandchild number 114” – one of the sons and daughters of those who were “disappeared” during the Argentine dictatorship – caused a commotion that many compared to the excitement of making it to the final match of the World Cup a month ago.
Tita Radilla is waiting, somewhat sceptically, for Mexican military personnel accused of carrying out forced disappearances to be brought before civilian courts. It is a demand that has spanned the past five decades.
Ongoing efforts to determine the causes of the deaths of high-profile Chileans - singer-songwriter Víctor Jara, former presidents Eduardo Frei Montalva and Salvador Allende, and Nobel Literate Prize-winner Pablo Neruda – indirectly bring visibility to thousands of other victims of Chile’s 1973-1990 dictatorship.
“My relatives and I tried many times, again and again, to find out what happened to my father. I searched constantly for 35 years, without success. Just a few days ago, I found out from the ‘death list’ that my father had been executed.”
A pyramid is being built in the old San Rafael cemetery in the southern Spanish city of Málaga - a monument to thousands of people shot by firing squads here during the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War and the 1939-1975 dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.
Over the last two decades, nearly 92,000 people have gone missing in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro, according to official figures and academic studies. Most of the cases have been shelved with little or no investigation.
The progress made by Argentina in trials for crimes against humanity committed by the 1976-1983 dictatorship has been tarnished by a growing number of human rights violators escaping from prison.
The Salvadoran army kept a detailed list of names and photographs of leftists detained or sought during El Salvador’s 1980-1992 civil war. The report is the first official military document proving the armed forces’ direct involvement in forced disappearances and other abuses.
Mexican police officer Luis Ángel León Rodríguez disappeared along with six other officers and a civilian on Nov. 16, 2009, in the western Mexican state of Michoacán. Six days later, his mother, Araceli Rodríguez, began her ceaseless search.
The last time Enrique Rangel heard his brother Héctor's voice was on the night of Nov. 10, 2009, when he called and said “they’re coming, they already stopped me and asked for money, and I already paid, but they’re coming.”
Thirty-seven years after leading the coup d’etat that ushered in the most brutal dictatorship in the history of Argentina, former army commander Jorge Rafael Videla died in a common prison Friday.
When people are forcibly disappeared in Mexico, it does not necessarily mean that the victims are immediately killed. In this country of entrenched violence, forced disappearance is also a method used to feed the markets for sexual exploitation and slave labour.
Victims of crimes of the state want their recommendations to be taken into consideration by the peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas that are seeking to end half a century of armed conflict.