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Desaparecidos is the Spanish word for "The Disappeared." For thousands of Argentine families, this word has become a symbol of a long harrowing nightmare.

In a coup on March 24, 1976, a military junta seized power in Argentina and went on a campaign to wipe out left-wing terrorism with terror far worse than the one they were combating. Between 1976 and 1983 - under military rule - thousands of people, most of them dissidents and innocent civilians unconnected with terrorism, were arrested and then vanished without a trace.

In 1983, after democracy was restored, a national commission was appointed to investigate the fate of the disappeared. Its report revealed the systematic abductions of men women and children, the existence of about 340 well organized secret detention centers, and the methodic use of torture and murder. According to former president, Carlos Menem, records of the atrocities were destroyed by the military, following the 1982 Falklands War. The disappeared have not been heard of to this day.

These pages are a humble attempt to bring the voices of the desaparecidos and their loved ones to the world. The vanishing was swift, a burst into a home at night, a few minutes and they were gone - not enough time to be heard. We owe it to them.

The VictimsThe ResponsibleCONADEPMothers of Plaza de Mayo
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