Cover

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Title

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p. iii

Copyright

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p. iv

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xii

This is the story of a country of great natural wealth and economic promise torn asunder by violence and trauma. Decades of mounting political violence cost the lives of more than ten thousand people, inflicted unimaginable suffering on many more, and traumatized society in the process. This traumatization was not apparent to me when I visited Argentina in 1978 during a break from fieldwork in ...

Part I. Groundswell: The Rise and Fall of Argentine Crowds

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1. Changing the Course of History: Dignity, Emancipation, and Entrenchment

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pp. 3-24

"That's the morgue," she said calmly, having removed the padlock from the gate that gave access to a walled off wasteland surrounding a drab building. The morgue of Avellaneda cemetery near Buenos Aires consisted of three rooms. One room contained the skeletons of the exhumed bodies, another held various tools, while the central room was dominated by a stainless ...

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2. The Time of the Furnaces: Proscription, Compromise, and Insurrection

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pp. 25-43

"There hung a murmurous atmosphere resembling the sea," one reporter wrote of the crowd that celebrated the installation of General Lonardi as Argentina's new president on 23 September 1955, "a constant surf of sounds: shouts and applause."1 The people were in a festive mood on this warm first day of Spring. Some fainted from the heat and the crowd's pressure, while others refreshed themselves in the fountain at the Plaza de Mayo. ...

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3. A Breeze Turned into Hurricane: The Apogee of Crowd Mobilization

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pp. 44-63

The revolutionary insurrection of tens of thousands of workers and students, raising hundreds of barricades and fighting off police and army during two days of pitched battle on 29 and 30 May 1969 in C

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4. Crowd Clashes: Euphoria, Disenchantment, and Rupture

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pp. 64-85

On Friday 17 November 1972, a seventy-seven-year-old Juan Domingo Per

Part II. Utopia Lost: Guerrilla War and Counterinsurgency

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5. Shots in the Night: Revenge, Revolution, and Insurgency

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pp. 89-106

The execution of eight workers at the garbage dump of Jose Leon Suarez in June 1956, after a failed military rebellion against the leaders of the 1955 coup against Per

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6. The Long Arm of Popular Justice: Punishment, Rebellion, and Sacrifice

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pp. 107-127

On the morning of 29 May 1970, at the first anniversary of the Cordobazo, Fernando Abal Medina and Emilio Maza ascend to the eighth floor of 1053 Montevideo Street and ring the bell of former President Aramburu's apartment. His wife opens the door and beckons the two young men posing as army officers to enter. An impeccably ...

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7. Revolution Postponed: Anger, Frustration, and Entitlement

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pp. 128-146

The mood in Villa Devoto prison was euphoric the day before President C

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8. The Shadows of Death: Improvisation, Counterinsurgency, and Downfall

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pp. 147-168

On Sunday 1 December 1974, at 1:15 in the afternoon, Captain Humberto Viola arrives with his pregnant wife and two little daughters at his parents' home in San Miguel de Tucum

Part Ill. Breaking Hearts and Minds: Torture, Self, and Resocialization

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9. The War of Cultures: Hierarchy Versus Equality, Christianity Versus Marxism

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pp. 171-189

"To the people of the Argentine Republic: The country is passing through one of the most difficult periods in its history. With the country on the point of national disintegration, the intervention of the armed forces was the only possible alternative in the face of the deterioration provoked by misgovernment, corruption, and ...

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10. The Wheelworks of Repression: Assault, Abduction, and Annihilation

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pp. 190-212

"I would leave in the morning, and wouldn't know whether I'd return alive in the evening," I was told by General Rivas as he showed me the scar on his hand inflicted by the teeth of a female Montonero combatant. General Rivas was the commander of the Campo de Mayo army base, and had invited me to visit the Major Juan Carlos Leonetti Museum of the Fight Against Subversion, founded there in ...

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11. The Operating Theater: Torture, Dehumanization, and Traumatization

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pp. 213-235

Pablo D

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12. Political Prisons and Secret Detention Centers: Dismantlement, Desocialization, and Rehabilitation

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pp. 236-258

Jaime Dri's escape came as a deafening blow to the Argentine navy. Dri was a prominent Montonero held captive at the Navy Mechanics School in Buenos Aires. The former Peronist congressman had convinced his captors that he was willing to collaborate with Operation Latch (Operaci

Part IV. Argentina's Nightmare: The Forced Disappearance

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13. The Disappearance: Despair, Terror, and Fear

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pp. 261-281

Each and every night, Elsa S

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14. The Search: Hope, Anguish, and Illusion

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pp. 282-298

In July 1976, in the heart of the Argentine winter, Julio Morresi enters another bleak night to find his son Norberto who disappeared three months earlier. Through a labyrinth of contacts, he is sent to a place in Greater Buenos Aires between Quilmes and Bernal. Julio arrives late at night, stops his car and signals with his head lights. Lights ...

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15. The Call for Truth: Defiance, Resistance, and Maternal Power

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pp. 299-317

The recollection of my first meeting with the mothers of the Plaza de Mayo is vague. I have difficulty separating my earliest impression from later encounters, and even from the documentaries, newsreels, and the many photographs I have seen since then. I do remember walking along one of the fountains at the Plaza de Mayo in April 1978 where ...

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16. Recovery and Reburial of the Past: Democracy, Accountability, and Impunity

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pp. 318-340

On 26 October 1983 I observed a large crowd from a window way up in a high rise near Constituci

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Conclusion: The Spirals of Violence and Trauma

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pp. 341-359

"There are important details but it is difficult for me to talk about them. I think about them and I repress them. They were undressed while being unconscious and when the flight commander gave the order, depending on the location of the plane, the hatch was opened and they were thrown out naked, one by one .... As I was quite nervous about ...

Appendix 1: Interview List

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pp. 361-362

Appendix 2: Acronyms

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pp. 363-364

Notes

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pp. 365-420

Bibliography

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pp. 421-440

Index

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pp. 441-463

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 465-467

The idea of studying political violence and trauma in Argentina arose at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I want to thank my colleagues at the Michigan Society of Fellows and the Department of Anthropology for helping formulate my thoughts. The warm welcome and hospitality of Martin and Shirley Norton, Rodrigo D