“Go and tell my dad that they’re holding me here,” Maximiliano Gordillo Martínez told his travelling companion on May 7 at the migration station in Chablé, in the southern Mexican state of Tabasco. It was the last time he was ever seen, and his parents have had no news of him since.
The soup kitchen of the San Gerardo parish in the southwestern Mexican state of Guerrero has become a memorial to horror. Long rows of photos have been hung on the walls of the large hall – the faces of dozens of people who were “disappeared”, abducted, extracted from their lives without a trace.
Nearly a year after the forced disappearance of 43 students in Mexico, the government’s investigation is back to the drawing board, after a group of independent experts refuted all of the official arguments.
After years awaiting justice by a court of law, Chadian citizens packed the Palais de Justice in Dakar, Senegal, to catch a glimpse of Hissene Habre, president of the central African nation from 1982-1990 during which time his iron fist rule took between 1,200 and 40,000 lives, according to evidence compiled by Chadian and international rights groups.
The suspicion that babies of people detained and disappeared during Chile’s 1973-1990 dictatorship were stolen is growing stronger in Chile, a country that up to now has not paid much attention to the phenomenon.
“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.