Sylvia Horwitz Photography

Desaparecidos: Mothers of the Disappeared


They were our children: the intellectual, artistic, and enlightened political leadership. Some were undoubtedly political activists or subversives, but many were not. They were idealistic students, trade unionists, and young adults, concerned about social justice and human rights, like those seen any day of the week in demonstrations and protest marches.

Exactly how many people were seized is hard to say. I found the imprecision of the estimates horrifying in itself. Thirty thousand is the official number used by human rights organizations, but the statistics cannot be verified. Government policy was to not keep traceable records.

An estimated 5-12% of the detained and missing "disappeared" during the junta (1976-83) were from the core of the Jewish community, although Jews made up only 1% of the population.

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