The Memory of the Argentina Disappearances
The Political History of Nunca Mas
Routledge – 2012 – 196 pages
Memory of the Argentina Disappearances examines the history of the production, public circulation, and the interpretations and reinterpretations of the Nunca Más report issued by Argentina’s National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons (CONADEP). It was established in 1983 by constitutional president Raúl Alfonsín to investigate the fate of thousands of people who had been disappeared by the state during the seventies.
Upon publication in 1984, Nunca Más became a bestseller, was translated into several languages and won greater public importance when the military juntas were brought to trial and the court accepted the report as key evidence. The report’s importance was further enhanced with the adoption of CONADEP and Nunca Más as models for truth commissions established in Latin America, and when it was postulated as a means for conveying an awareness of this past to Argentina’s younger generations.
This book contributes to understanding the political processes that led to Nunca Más becoming the way in which Argentines remembered the disappearances and the country’s political violence, and how its meaning is modified by new interpretations. Given the canonical nature of Nunca Más, the book sheds light on the most substantial changes and the continuities in Argentina’s social memory of its recent past.
"The production and effects of the Argentine Nunca Más report, well-known events in recent Latin American history, have been hardly analyzed with such thoroughness. Crenzel brings politics back to our understanding of human rights and showing the array of actors and ideas involved in the crafting and later interpretation of this landmark in the history of global human rights movements. In addition, he masters the cultural and sociological implications of these processes." – Vania Markarian, Columbia University
Introduction 1. Disappearance, Memory and Knowledge 2. Investigating the Past: CONADEP and the Making of Nunca Más 2. The Nunca Más Report 4. Uses and Resignifications of Nunca Más Conclusions
Emilio Crenzel is Researcher at the National Council of Scientific Research (CONICET) and Professor of Sociology (University of Buenos Aires, Argentina). He has authored papers about transitional justice, human rights, and social memories of the political violence and dictatorship in Argentina. He has also published in journals in Europe, Canada, Israel, Brazil, United States and Mexico.