Monday, August 29, 2011

Today’s Video: Disappeared but not forgotten

According to the Latin American Federation of Associations for Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared (FEDEFAM) a “forced disappearance consists of a kidnapping, carried out by agents of the State or organized groups of private individuals who act with State support or tolerance, in which the victim ‘disappears’.” The plights of these victims and the pain their families face will be remembered on the annual International Day of the Disappeared, which is this Tuesday.

Latin America has had a sordid history with disappearances such as the victims under the former authoritarian military regimes in countries like Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. Yet the unfortunate issue of the disappeared continues to manifest itself in the Americas. Yesterday approximately one hundred protesters in the Mexican state of Coahuila urged authorities to do more in resolving the over 200 disappearance cases since 2008. Last month roughly 600 people including the families of dozens of disappeared Central American migrants marched from Mexico’s southern border to Mexico City.

According to the International Red Cross (IRC) governments throughout the region to either prevent or solve disappearances have not done enough. As Guilhem Ravier, collaborator for the IRC’s on the disappeared in Colombia, said to EFE:
“The magnitude of this problem is huge. There is no other way to describe it. We don’t even know exactly how many people have disappeared but we think it’s a lot. There are many families who, throughout the recent decades of armed conflict, wait for news about their loved ones and suffer in the uncertainty of not knowing.”
One of the most notable instances of a disappearance in the Americas is the case of Argentine teen Luciano Arruga. His whereabouts are unknown since January 31, 2009 when Buenos Aires police intercepted him. Several eyewitnesses have come forward and claimed that they saw him being harassed and beaten at a police station. There are too many questions that have been unanswered in the over thirty months that Arruga has gone missing though he continues to be remembered by friends and family as seen in the following video from last January:

Video Source - YouTube
Online Sources- BBC News, Latin American Federation of Associations for Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared, NACLA, Milenio, Diario ABC Color, Global Voices Online

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