Forced disappearance
Overview
 
In international human rights law
International human rights law
International human rights law refers to the body of international law designed to promote and protect human rights at the international, regional and domestic levels...

, a forced disappearance (or enforced disappearance) occurs when a person is secretly abducted or imprisoned by a state
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

 or political organization or by a third party with the authorization, support, or acquiescence of a state or political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the person's fate and whereabouts, with the intent of placing the victim outside the protection of the law.

According to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court . It was adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome on 17 July 1998 and it entered into force on 1 July 2002. As of 13 October 2011, 119 states are party to the statute...

, which came into force on 1 July 2002, when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed at any civilian population, a "forced disappearance" qualifies as a crime against humanity
Crime against humanity
Crimes against humanity, as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum, "are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings...

 and, thus, is not subject to a statute of limitations
Statute of limitations
A statute of limitations is an enactment in a common law legal system that sets the maximum time after an event that legal proceedings based on that event may be initiated...

.
Encyclopedia
In international human rights law
International human rights law
International human rights law refers to the body of international law designed to promote and protect human rights at the international, regional and domestic levels...

, a forced disappearance (or enforced disappearance) occurs when a person is secretly abducted or imprisoned by a state
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

 or political organization or by a third party with the authorization, support, or acquiescence of a state or political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the person's fate and whereabouts, with the intent of placing the victim outside the protection of the law.

According to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court . It was adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome on 17 July 1998 and it entered into force on 1 July 2002. As of 13 October 2011, 119 states are party to the statute...

, which came into force on 1 July 2002, when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed at any civilian population, a "forced disappearance" qualifies as a crime against humanity
Crime against humanity
Crimes against humanity, as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum, "are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings...

 and, thus, is not subject to a statute of limitations
Statute of limitations
A statute of limitations is an enactment in a common law legal system that sets the maximum time after an event that legal proceedings based on that event may be initiated...

. On 20 December 2006, the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

 adopted the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance is an international human rights instrument of the United Nations and intended to prevent forced disappearance defined in international law, crimes against humanity. The text was adopted by the United...

.

Often forced disappearance implies murder. The victim in such a case is first abducted
Kidnapping
In criminal law, kidnapping is the taking away or transportation of a person against that person's will, usually to hold the person in false imprisonment, a confinement without legal authority...

, then illegally detained
Prison
A prison is a place in which people are physically confined and, usually, deprived of a range of personal freedoms. Imprisonment or incarceration is a legal penalty that may be imposed by the state for the commission of a crime...

, and often tortured; the victim is then killed and the body hidden. Typically, a murder will be surreptitious, with the corpse disposed of in such a way as to prevent it ever being found, so that the person apparently vanishes. The party committing the murder has deniability, as there is no body to prove that the victim has actually died.

Human rights law

In international human rights law
International human rights law
International human rights law refers to the body of international law designed to promote and protect human rights at the international, regional and domestic levels...

, disappearances at the hands of the state have been codified as "enforced" or "forced disappearances" since the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, also known as VDPA, is a human rights declaration adopted by consensus at the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993 in Vienna, Austria...

. For example, the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...

 defines enforced disappearance as a crime against humanity
Crime against humanity
Crimes against humanity, as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum, "are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings...

, and the practice is specifically addressed by the OAS
Organization of American States
The Organization of American States is a regional international organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States...

's Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons. There is also some authority indicating that enforced disappearances occurring during armed conflict, such as the Third Reich's Night and Fog program, may constitute war crimes.

The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance is an international human rights instrument of the United Nations and intended to prevent forced disappearance defined in international law, crimes against humanity. The text was adopted by the United...

, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 20 December 2006, also states that the widespread or systematic practice of enforced disappearances constitutes a crime against humanity. Crucially, it gives victims' families the right to seek reparations, and to demand the truth about the disappearance of their loved ones. The Convention provides for the right not to be subjected to enforced disappearance, as well as the right for the relatives of the disappeared person to know the truth. The Convention contains several provisions concerning prevention, investigation and sanctioning of this crime, as well as the rights of victims and their relatives, and the wrongful removal of children born during their captivity. The Convention further sets forth the obligation of international co-operation, both in the suppression of the practice, and in dealing with humanitarian aspects related to the crime. The Convention establishes a Committee on Enforced Disappearances, which will be charged with important and innovative functions of monitoring and protection at international level. Currently, an international campaign of the International Coalition against Enforced Disappearances
International Coalition against Enforced Disappearances
The International Coalition against Enforced Disappearances gathers organizations of families of disappeared and human rights NGOs working in a nonviolent manner against the practice of enforced disappearances at the local, national and international level.The ICAED is promoting the early...

 is working towards universal ratification of the Convention.

Disappearances work on two levels: not only do they silence opponents and critics who have disappeared, but they also create uncertainty and fear in the wider community, silencing others who would oppose and criticise. Disappearances entail the violation of many fundamental human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

. For the disappeared person, these include the right to liberty
Freedom (political)
Political freedom is a central philosophy in Western history and political thought, and one of the most important features of democratic societies...

, the right to personal security and humane treatment (including freedom from torture), the right to a fair trial
Right to a fair trial
The right to fair trial is an essential right in all countries respecting the rule of law. A trial in these countries that is deemed unfair will typically be restarted, or its verdict voided....

, to legal counsel
Counsel
A counsel or a counselor gives advice, more particularly in legal matters.-U.K. and Ireland:The legal system in England uses the term counsel as an approximate synonym for a barrister-at-law, and may apply it to mean either a single person who pleads a cause, or collectively, the body of barristers...

 and to equal protection under the law, and the right of presumption of innocence
Presumption of innocence
The presumption of innocence, sometimes referred to by the Latin expression Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat, is the principle that one is considered innocent until proven guilty. Application of this principle is a legal right of the accused in a criminal trial, recognised in many...

 among others. Their families, who often spend the rest of their lives searching for information on the disappeared, are also victims.

Examples

NGOs such as Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 or Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 record in their annual report the number of known cases of forced disappearance.

Algeria

During the Algerian Civil War
Algerian Civil War
The Algerian Civil War was an armed conflict between the Algerian government and various Islamist rebel groups which began in 1991. It is estimated to have cost between 150,000 and 200,000 lives, in a population of about 25,010,000 in 1990 and 31,193,917 in 2000.More than 70 journalists were...

, which began in 1992 as Islamist guerrillas attacked the military government which had annulled an Islamist electoral victory, thousands of people had forcibly disappeared. Disappearances continued up to the late 1990s, but thereafter dropped off sharply with the decline in violence in 1997. Some of the disappeared were kidnapped or killed by the guerrillas, but others are presumed to have been taken by state security services. This latter group has become the most controversial. Their exact numbers remain disputed, but the government has acknowledged a figure of just over 6,000 disappeared, now presumed dead. Opposition sources claim the real number is closer to 17,000. (The war claimed a total toll of 150–200,000 deaths). In 2005, a controversial amnesty law
Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation
The Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation was a charter proposed by Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in an attempt to bring closure to the Algerian Civil War by offering an amnesty for most violence committed in it...

 was approved in a referendum, which, among other things, granted financial compensation to families of disappeared, but also effectively ended the police investigations into the crimes.

Argentina

During Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

's Dirty War
Dirty War
The Dirty War was a period of state-sponsored violence in Argentina from 1976 until 1983. Victims of the violence included several thousand left-wing activists, including trade unionists, students, journalists, Marxists, Peronist guerrillas and alleged sympathizers, either proved or suspected...

 and Operation Condor
Operation Condor
Operation Condor , was a campaign of political repression involving assassination and intelligence operations officially implemented in 1975 by the right-wing dictatorships of the Southern Cone of South America...

, many alleged political dissident
Dissident
A dissident, broadly defined, is a person who actively challenges an established doctrine, policy, or institution. When dissidents unite for a common cause they often effect a dissident movement....

s were abducted or illegally detained and were smoked to life and kept in clandestine detention centres such as ESMA
ESMA
The Navy Petty-Officers School of Mechanics , commonly referred to by its abbreviation ESMA, is a facility of the Argentine Navy that was employed as an illegal detention center during the dictatorial rule of the National Reorganization Process...

, where they were questioned, tortured and sometimes killed. Whenever the female captives were pregnant, their children were stolen away right after giving birth, while they themselves remained detained. Eventually, many of the captives were heavily drugged and taken on airplanes far out over the Atlantic Ocean, into which they were thrown alive, allegedly with heavy weights tied to their feet, so as to leave no trace of their passing. Without any dead bodies, the government could easily deny any knowledge of their whereabouts and any accusations that they had been killed. People murdered in this way (and in others) are today referred to as "the disappeared" (los desaparecidos), and this is where the modern usage of the term derives. An activist group called "Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo", formed by mothers of those victims of the dictatorship, were the inspiration for a song by Irish rock band U2
U2
U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono , The Edge , Adam Clayton , and Larry Mullen, Jr. . U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music...

, "Mothers of the Disappeared
Mothers of the Disappeared
"Mothers of the Disappeared" is a song by rock band U2. It is the eleventh and final track on their 1987 album The Joshua Tree. The song was inspired by lead singer Bono's experiences in Nicaragua and El Salvador in July 1986, following U2's involvement on Amnesty International's A Conspiracy of...

" (see also the Valech Report
Valech Report
The Valech Report was a record of abuses committed in Chile between 1973 and 1990 by agents of Augusto Pinochet's military regime. The report was published on November 29, 2004 and detailed the results of a six-month investigation. A revised version was released on June 1, 2005...

 for Chile). Rubén Blades
Rubén Blades
Rubén Blades Bellido de Luna is a Panamanian salsa singer, songwriter, lawyer, actor, Latin jazz musician, and politician, performing musically most often in the Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz genres...

 also composed a song called "Desaparecidos", in honor of those political dissidents. Mathematician Boris Weisfeiler
Boris Weisfeiler
Boris Weisfeiler is a Russian-born mathematician who lived in the United States before going missing in Chile in 1985, aged 43. The Chilean government claimed that he drowned, but his family believes he was forced to disappear near Colonia Dignidad, an enclave led by ex-Nazi Paul Schäfer.-...

 is thought to have disappeared near Colonia Dignidad
Colonia Dignidad
Villa Baviera , formerly known as Colonia Dignidad is a hamlet in Parral Commune, Linares Province, Maule Region, Chile. Located in an isolated area of central Chile, it lies 35 km southeast of the city of Parral, on the north bank of the Perquilauquén River. It was founded by a group of German...

, a German colony founded by anti-Communist Paul Schäfer
Paul Schäfer
Paul Schäfer Schneider was the founder and former leader of a sect and agricultural commune of German immigrants called Colonia Dignidad —later renamed Villa Baviera—located in the south of Chile, about 340 km south of Santiago...

 in Chile, which was used as a detention center by the DINA, the secret police.

The phrase was recognized by Argentine de facto President, General Jorge Rafael Videla
Jorge Rafael Videla
Jorge Rafael Videla Redondo is a former senior commander in the Argentine Army who was the de facto President of Argentina from 1976 to 1981. He came to power in a coup d'état that deposed Isabel Martínez de Perón...

, who said in a press conference during the military government which he commanded in Argentina: "They are neither dead nor alive, they are desaparecidos (missing)". It is thought that in Argentina, between 1976 and 1983, up to 30,000 people (9,000 verified named cases, according to the official report by the CONADEP
Comisión Nacional sobre la Desaparición de Personas
National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons was an Argentine organization created by President Raúl Alfonsín on 15 December 1983, shortly after his inauguration, to investigate the fate of the desaparecidos and other human rights violations performed during the military dictatorship...

) were subjected to forced disappearance.

Chile

Almost immediately after the military's seizure of power on 11 September 1973, the Chilean military junta banned all the leftist parties that had constituted the democratically-elected president Salvador Allende
Salvador Allende
Salvador Allende Gossens was a Chilean physician and politician who is generally considered the first democratically elected Marxist to become president of a country in Latin America....

's UP coalition.
All other parties were placed in "indefinite recess," and were later banned outright. The government's violence was directed not only against dissidents, but also against their families and other civilians.

The Rettig Report
Rettig Report
The Rettig Report, officially The National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation Report, is a 1991 report by a commission designated by then President Patricio Aylwin encompassing human rights abuses resulting in death or disappearance that occurred in Chile during the years of military rule...

 concluded 2,279 persons who disappeared during the military government were killed for political reasons or as a result of political violence, and approximately 31,947 tortured according to the later Valech Report
Valech Report
The Valech Report was a record of abuses committed in Chile between 1973 and 1990 by agents of Augusto Pinochet's military regime. The report was published on November 29, 2004 and detailed the results of a six-month investigation. A revised version was released on June 1, 2005...

, while 1,312 were exiled. The latter were chased all over the world by the intelligence agencies. In Latin America, this was made in the frame of Operation Condor
Operation Condor
Operation Condor , was a campaign of political repression involving assassination and intelligence operations officially implemented in 1975 by the right-wing dictatorships of the Southern Cone of South America...

, a cooperation plan between the various intelligence agencies of South American countries, assisted by a United States CIA communication base in Panama. Pinochet believed these operations were necessary in order to "save the country from communism".

Some political scientists have ascribed the relative bloodiness of the coup to the stability of the existing democratic system, which required extreme action to overturn. Some of the most famous cases of human rights violation occurred during the early period: in October 1973, at least 70 people were killed throughout the country by the Caravan of Death
Caravan of Death
The Caravan of Death was a Chilean Army death squad that, following the Chilean coup of 1973, flew by helicopters from south to north of Chile between September 30 and October 22, 1973. During this foray, members of the squad ordered or personally carried out the execution of at least 75...

. Charles Horman
Charles Horman
Charles Horman was an American journalist and was one of the victims of the 1973 Chilean coup d'état led by General Augusto Pinochet, that deposed the socialist president, Salvador Allende, after bombing the Chilean presidential palace on September 11, 1973...

, a US journalist, "disappeared", as did Víctor Olea Alegría
Víctor Olea Alegría
Víctor Olea Alegría was a member of Chile’s Partido Socialista.Olea lived in Santiago, Chile. He was detained by “security agents” on 11 September 1974, and became one of the "detenidos desaparecidos". Manuel Contreras was convicted in 2002 for his abduction.-External links:*...

, a member of the Socialist Party, and many others, in 1973.

Furthermore, many other important officials of Allende's government were tracked down by the DINA in the frame of Operation Condor. Thus, General Carlos Prats
Carlos Prats
General Carlos Prats González was a Chilean Army officer, a political figure, minister and Vice President of Chile during President Salvador Allende's government, and General Augusto Pinochet's predecessor as commander-in-chief of the Chilean Army...

, Pinochet's predecessor and army commander under Allende, who had resigned rather than support the moves against Allende's government, was assassinated in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

, Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, in 1974. A year later, the murder of 119 opponents abroad was disguised as an internal conflict, the DINA setting up a propaganda campaign to accredit this thesis (Operation Colombo
Operation Colombo
Operation Colombo was an operation undertaken by the DINA in 1975. The operation involved the disappearance of political dissidents. At least 119 people are alleged to have been abducted and later killed by state forces in the secret operation...

), campaign that received diffusion by the leading newspaper in Chile, El Mercurio.

Other victims of Condor included, among hundreds of less famous persons, Juan José Torres
Juan José Torres
Juan José Torres González was a Bolivian socialist politician and military leader. He served as President of Bolivia from October 7, 1970 to August 21, 1971. He was popularly known as "J.J."...

, the former President of Bolivia, assassinated in Buenos Aires on 2 June 1976; Carmelo Soria
Carmelo Soria
Carmelo Soria was a Spanish-Chilean United Nations diplomat. A member of the CEPAL in the 1970s, he was assassinated by Chile's DINA agents as a part of Operation Condor...

, a UN diplomat working for the CEPAL, assassinated in July 1976;
Orlando Letelier
Letelier case
The Letelier case refers to the killing in Washington, D.C. of Orlando Letelier, a Chilean political figure and later United States-based activist, along with his American assistant, Ronni Moffitt...

, a former Chilean ambassador to the United States and minister in Allende's cabinet, assassinated after his release from internment and exile in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 by a car bomb on 21 September 1976. This led to strained relations with the US and to the extradition of Michael Townley
Michael Townley
Michael Vernon Townley is a US citizen currently living in the United States under terms of the federal witness protection program. A Central Intelligence Agency agent and operative of the Chilean secret police, DINA, Townley confessed, was convicted, and served 62 months in prison in the United...

, a US citizen who worked for the DINA and had organized Letelier's assassination. Other targeted victims, who escaped assassination, included Christian-Democrat Bernardo Leighton
Bernardo Leighton
Bernardo Leighton Guzmán was a Chilean Christian Democrat who was targeted by Operation Condor.In 1937, President Arturo Alessandri Palma appointed him as Employment minister....

, who escaped an assassination attempt in Rome in 1975 by the Italian terrorist Stefano delle Chiaie
Stefano Delle Chiaie
Stefano Delle Chiaie is a neofascist Italian activist . He went on to become a wanted man worldwide, suspect to be involved in Italy's strategy of tension, but was acquitted. He was a friend of Licio Gelli, grandmaster of P2 masonic lodge...

; Carlos Altamirano
Carlos Altamirano
Carlos Altamirano Orrego is a lawyer and one of the most influential politicians of Chilean socialism. He was the general secretary of the Chilean Socialist Party between 1971 and 1979. Before that, he was deputy from 1961 to 1965 and senator from 1965 to 1973...

, the leader of the Chilean Socialist Party, targeted for murder in 1975 by Pinochet, along with Volodia Teitelboim
Volodia Teitelboim
Volodia Valentín Teitelboim Volosky was a Chilean lawyer, politician and author.Born in Chillán to Jewish immigrants , Teitelboim was interested in literature from an early age...

, member of the Communist Party; Pascal Allende, the nephew of Salvador Allende and president of the MIR
Mir
Mir was a space station operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001, at first by the Soviet Union and then by Russia. Assembled in orbit from 1986 to 1996, Mir was the first modular space station and had a greater mass than that of any previous spacecraft, holding the record for the...

, who escaped an assassination attempt in Costa Rica in March 1976; US Congressman Edward Koch, who became aware in 2001 of relations between death threats and his denunciation of Operation Condor, etc. Furthermore, according to current investigations, Eduardo Frei Montalva
Eduardo Frei Montalva
Eduardo Frei Montalva was a Chilean political leader of world stature. In his long political career, he was Minister of Public Works, president of his Christian Democratic Party, senator, President of the Senate, and president of Chile from 1964 to 1970...

, the Christian Democrat President of Chile from 1964 to 1970, may have been poisoned in 1982 by toxin produced by DINA biochemist Eugenio Berrios
Eugenio Berríos
Eugenio Berríos Sagredo was a Chilean biochemist who worked for the DINA intelligence agency.Berríos was charged with carrying outProyecto Andrea in which Pinochet ordered the production of sarin gas, a chemical weapon used by the DINA. Sarin gas leaves no trace and victims' deaths closely mimic...

.

Protests continued, however, during the 1980s, leading to several scandals. In March 1985, the savage murder of three Communist Party
Communist Party of Chile
The Communist Party of Chile is a Chilean political party inspired by the thoughts of Karl Marx and Lenin. It was founded in 1922, as the continuation of the Socialist Workers Party, and in 1934 it established its youth wing, the Communist Youth of Chile .In the last legislative elections in Chile...

 members led to the resignation of César Mendoza
César Mendoza
General César Leonidas Mendoza Durán was a member of the Government Junta which ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990, representing the country-wide police force, the Carabineros de Chile....

, head of the Carabineros
Carabineros de Chile
thumb|250px|Carabineros de Chile, patrolling a street in [[Santiago, Chile|Santiago]]The Carabiniers of Chile, are the uniformed Chilean national police force and gendarmerie, created on April 27, 1927. Their mission is to maintain order and create public respect for the laws of the country...

 and member of the junta since its formation. During a 1986 protest against Pinochet, 21 year old American photographer Rodrigo Rojas DeNegri
Rodrigo Rojas DeNegri
Rodrigo Andrés Rojas De Negri was a young photographer who was burned alive during a street demonstration against the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet in Chile.-Background:...

 and 18 year old student Carmen Gloria Quintana
Carmen Gloria Quintana
Carmen Gloria Quintana Arancibia is a Chilean woman who suffered severe, almost fatal burns in an incident where she and other youngsters were detained by an army patrol during a street demonstration against the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet...

 were burnt alive, with only Carmen surviving.

In August 1989, Marcelo Barrios Andres, a 21 year-old member of the FPMR (the armed wing of the PCC, created in 1983, which had attempted to assassinate Pinochet on 7 September 1986), was assassinated by a group of military personnel who were supposed to arrest him on orders of Valparaíso's public prosecutor. However, they simply executed him; this case was included in the Rettig Report. Among the killed and disappeared during the military regime were 440 MIR guerrillas.

Colombia

In 2009, Colombian prosecutors reported that an estimated 28,000 people have disappeared due to paramilitary and guerrilla groups during the nation's ongoing internal conflict
Colombian Armed Conflict
The Colombian armed conflict or Colombian Civil War are terms that are employed to refer to the current asymmetric low-intensity armed conflict in Colombia that has existed since approximately 1964 or 1966, between the Colombian government and peasant guerrillas such as the Revolutionary Armed...

. In 2008, the corpses of 300 victims were identified and 600 more during the following year. According to Colombian officials, it will take many years before all the bodies that have been recovered are identified.

Equatorial Guinea

According to the UN Human Rights Council Mission to Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea, officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea where the capital Malabo is situated.Annobón is the southernmost island of Equatorial Guinea and is situated just south of the equator. Bioko island is the northernmost point of Equatorial Guinea. Between the two islands and to the...

  agents of the Equatorial Guinean Government have been responsible for abducting refugees from other countries in the region, and holding them in secret detention. For example, in January 2010 four men were abducted from Benin
Benin
Benin , officially the Republic of Benin, is a country in West Africa. It borders Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north. Its small southern coastline on the Bight of Benin is where a majority of the population is located...

 by Equatorial Guinean security forces, held in secret detention, subjected to torture
Torture
Torture is the act of inflicting severe pain as a means of punishment, revenge, forcing information or a confession, or simply as an act of cruelty. Throughout history, torture has often been used as a method of political re-education, interrogation, punishment, and coercion...

, and executed in August 2010 immediately after being convicted by a military court.

Germany

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 set up secret police forces, including branches of the Gestapo
Gestapo
The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

 in occupied countries, which they used to hunt down known or suspected dissidents or partisans. This tactic was given the name Nacht und Nebel
Nacht und Nebel
Nacht und Nebel was a directive of Adolf Hitler on 7 December 1941 signed and implemented by Armed Forces High Command Chief Wilhelm Keitel, resulting in the kidnapping and forced disappearance of many political activists and resistance 'helpers' throughout Nazi Germany's occupied...

(Night and Fog), to describe those who disappeared after being arrested by Nazi forces without any warning. The Nazis also applied this policy against political opponents within Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. Most victims were killed on the spot, or sent to concentration camps, with the full expectation that they would then be killed.

The Stasi also carried out disappearances in post war Germany. Relatives were not always informed at the time that someone had disappeared.

Guatemala

Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

 was one of the first countries where forced disappearances were used as a generalized practice of terror against a civilian population. 45,000 people disappeared during the years of the armed conflict that ended in 1996.

India

Ensaaf, a partisan NGO dedicated to the cause of Khalistan
Khalistan
Khalistan refers to a global political secessionist movement to create a separate Sikh state, called Khālistān , carved out of parts mostly consisting of the Punjab region of India, depending on definition....

i Sikh Extremism
Sikh extremism
Sikh extremism refers to threats or acts of violence against civilians, or material support for the acts of violence.Some extremists have been separatists pursuing the formation of a Sikh state, often referred to as Khalistan....


their front, "Benetech
Benetech
Benetech was founded in 1989 by high technology entrepreneur Jim Fruchterman in Palo Alto, California. Benetech is a not-for-profit social enterprise organization: it creates technology social ventures, such as Bookshare , the Route 66 Literacy Project, the Miradi environmental project management...

 Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG)" released a pamphlet in January 2009, claiming "verifiable quantitative"[sic] findings on mass disappearances and extrajudicial executions in the India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n state of Punjab, opposing mainstream portrayal of the Punjab counterinsurgency as a successful campaign. The report by Ensaaf and HRDAG, “Violent Deaths and Enforced Disappearances During the Counterinsurgency in Punjab, India,” presents empirical findings suggesting that the intensification of counterinsurgency operations in Punjab in the early 1990s was accompanied by a shift in state violence from targeted lethal human rights violations to systematic enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions, accompanied by mass “illegal cremations.”

Iraq

At least tens of thousands of people disappeared under the regime of Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

, many of them during Operation Anfal.

Iran

Following the Iran student riots in 1999, more than 70 students disappeared. In addition to an estimated 1,200–1,400 detained, the "whereabouts and condition" of five students named by Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 remained unknown. The United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 has also reported other disappearances. After each manifestation, from teacher unions to women's rights activists, at least some disappearances are expected. Dissident writers have been the target of disappearances, as have members of religious minorities such as the Baha'i Faith
Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

 following the Iranian revolution
Iranian Revolution
The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the...

. Examples include Muhammad Movahhed and Ali Murad Davudi
Ali Murad Davudi
Dr Ali Murad Davudi was an Iranian Bahá'í who was a member of the national governing body of the Bahá'ís in Iran. He was a professor at Tehran University in the philosophy department...

.

Morocco

Several Moroccan Army personnel suspected of being implicated in the 1970s coups against the King were held in secret detention camps such as Tazmamart
Tazmamart
Tazmamart was a secret prison in south-eastern Morocco in the Atlas Mountains, holding political prisoners. The prison became a symbol ofoppression in the political history of contemporary Morocco...

, some of them died due to poor conditions or lack of medical treatment.
The most famous case of forced disappearance in Morocco is that of political dissident Mehdi Ben Barka
Mehdi Ben Barka
Mehdi Ben Barka was a Moroccan politician, head of the left-wing National Union of Popular Forces and secretary of the Tricontinental Conference...

, who disappeared in obscure circumstance in France in 1965.
In February 2007, Morocco signed an international convention protecting people from forced disappearance,
In October 2007, Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón
Baltasar Garzón
Baltasar Garzón Real is a Spanish jurist who served on Spain's central criminal court, the Audiencia Nacional. He was the examining magistrate of the Juzgado Central de Instrucción No...

 has declared the competence of the Spanish jurisdiction in the Spanish-Sahrawi disappearances between 1976 and 1987 in Western Sahara, and there have been charges brought against some Moroccan military heads, some of them currently in power , like the head of Morocco's armed forces, general Housni Benlismane, charged for the detention and disappearance campaign of Smara
Smara
Smara, also Semara , is a city in the Moroccan-Administered Western Sahara, with a population estimated at 42,056.-History:The largest city in its province, Smara was founded in the Saguia el-Hamra as an oasis for travellers in 1869. It is the only major city in Western Sahara that was not founded...

 in 1976. His substitute, judge Fernando Pablo Ruz, reopened the cause in November 2010.

Pakistan

In Pakistan’s province, Balochistan
Balochistan
Balochistan or Baluchistan is a region which covers parts of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. It can also refer to one of several modern and historical territories within that region:...

, the military has been conducting military operation since 2000. Since then hundreds of people have gone missing, according to the reports of human rights organisations and Baloch nationalist parties. According to Dr. Jahanzaib Jamaldini, Acting Vice-President of Balochistan National Party (BNP) that "We have a list of more than 3000 thousands people who have been arrested by the intelligence agencies from different parts of Balochistan. The agencies picked up the Baloch youths from different parts of Balochistan, Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 and Punjab and tortured them severely." Aftab Sherpao, the federal interior minister had revealed when talking to media persons in December 2005 in Turbat
Turbat
Turbat is a city located in southern Balochistan, a province of Pakistan. The town is the administrative center of Kech District and Turbat Tehsil, the town itself contains one Union council.-About:...

 that nearly 4000 people had been arrested from Balochistan but after a few days, official sources claimed that the federal minister had only referred to those illegal immigrants who had trespassed the Pak-Iran border in 2005. A list of missing Baloch activists and citizens are also quoted in a pamphlet entitled Waiting for Truth and Justice published by Balochistan National Party (BNP).

Northern Ireland

The disappeared is the name given to sixteen people believed or confirmed to have been abducted, killed and buried in unmarked graves by republican
Irish Republicanism
Irish republicanism is an ideology based on the belief that all of Ireland should be an independent republic.In 1801, under the Act of Union, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland merged to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

 paramilitaries during the Troubles
The Troubles
The Troubles was a period of ethno-political conflict in Northern Ireland which spilled over at various times into England, the Republic of Ireland, and mainland Europe. The duration of the Troubles is conventionally dated from the late 1960s and considered by many to have ended with the Belfast...

 in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

. In 1999 the IRA admitted to killing nine of the sixteen, and gave information on the location of the bodies, but only three bodies were recovered on that occasion, one of which had already been exhumed and placed in a coffin. The best-known case was that of Jean McConville
Jean McConville
Jean McConville was a woman from Northern Ireland who, in 1972, was abducted and killed by the Provisional IRA and secretly buried on a beach in the Republic of Ireland. The IRA subsequently claimed that she had been passing information on republican activities to British security forces...

, a Belfast mother of ten who had lost her husband a few months before she disappeared, and who the IRA claimed was an informer. The search for her remains was abandoned in 1999 but her body was discovered in 2003, a mile from where the IRA had indicated, by a family out on a walk. Since then four more victims have been found, one in 2008 and three in 2010. The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains
Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains
The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains was established by treaty between the United Kingdom Government and the Government of Ireland, made on 27 April 1999 in connection with the affairs of Northern Ireland....

, established in 1999, is the body responsible for locating the disappeared.

Russia

Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n rights groups estimate there have been about 5,000 forced disappearances in Chechnya
Chechnya
The Chechen Republic , commonly referred to as Chechnya , also spelled Chechnia or Chechenia, sometimes referred to as Ichkeria , is a federal subject of Russia . It is located in the southeastern part of Europe in the Northern Caucasus mountains. The capital of the republic is the city of Grozny...

 since 1999. Most of them are believed to be buried in several dozen mass graves.

The Russian government failed to pursue any accountability process for human rights abuses committed during the course of the conflict in Chechnya. Unable to secure justice domestically, hundreds of victims of abuse have filed applications with the European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is a supra-national court established by the European Convention on Human Rights and hears complaints that a contracting state has violated the human rights enshrined in the Convention and its protocols. Complaints can be brought by individuals or...

 (ECHR). In March 2005 the court issued the first rulings on Chechnya, finding the Russian government guilty of violating the right to life and the prohibition of torture with respect to civilians who had died or been forcibly disappeared at the hands of Russia's federal troops.

Soviet Union

Disappearance was a special clause in the penal sentence: "without the right to correspondence". In many cases this phrase hid the execution of the convicted, although the sentence may have been for, say, "10 years of labor camp
Labor camp
A labor camp is a simplified detention facility where inmates are forced to engage in penal labor. Labor camps have many common aspects with slavery and with prisons...

s without the right to correspondence". The fate of tens of thousands of people only became known after the 1950s De-Stalinization
De-Stalinization
De-Stalinization refers to the process of eliminating the cult of personality, Stalinist political system and the Gulag labour-camp system created by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Stalin was succeeded by a collective leadership after his death in March 1953...

.

Sri Lanka

According to a United Nations 1999 study, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

  has the second highest number of disappeared people in the world. Since 1980, 12,000 Sri Lankans have gone missing after being detained by security forces. More than 55,000 people have been killed in the past 27 years. The figures are still lower than the current Sri Lankan government's own estimate of 17,000 people missing, which was made after it came to power with a commitment to correct the human rights issues.

In 2003, the International Red Cross (ICRC) restarted investigations into the disappearance of 11,000 people during Sri Lanka's civil war.

On 29 May 2009, the British newspaper The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

acquired confidential U.N. documents that record nearly 7,000 civilian deaths in the no-fire zone up to the end of April. The toll then surged, the paper quoted unidentified U.N. sources as saying, with an average of 1,000 civilians killed each day until 19 May, when the government declared victory over the Tamil Tiger rebels. That means the final death toll is more than 20,000, The Times said. "Higher," a U.N. source told the paper. "Keep going." The United Nations has previously said 7,000 civilians were killed in fighting between January and May. A top Sri Lankan official called the 20,000 figure unfounded. Gordon Weiss, a U.N. spokesman in Sri Lanka, told CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 that a large number of civilians were killed, though he did not confirm the 20,000 figure.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has accused Sri Lanka of “causing untold suffering”.

Syria

Cases of forced disappearance in Syria started when late Syrian president Hafez al-Assad
Hafez al-Assad
Hafez ibn 'Ali ibn Sulayman al-Assad or more commonly Hafez al-Assad was the President of Syria for three decades. Assad's rule consolidated the power of the central government after decades of coups and counter-coups, such as Operation Wappen in 1957 conducted by the Eisenhower administration and...

 started to face opposition from citizens in the late 70's. While he was able to buy elite merchants of Damascus through Badr el-Deen Shallah, the general public was outraged by Assad's policies in ruling the country and the rise of corruption. From then on, any voice opposing or questioning the Syrian government was silenced by forced disappearance or threats. Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad is the President of Syria and Regional Secretary of the Ba'ath Party. His father Hafez al-Assad ruled Syria for 29 years until his death in 2000. Al-Assad was elected in 2000, re-elected in 2007, unopposed each time.- Early Life :...

 took his father's policy further and considered any voice questioning anything about Syria's political, economical, social, or otherwise policies should be monitored and when needed, detained and accused of weakening national empathy. A recent case is Tal Mallohi
Tal Mallohi
Tal Dosr al-Mallohi born in Homs January 4, 1991 is a Syrian blogger from Homs. She is considered the World's youngest prisoner of conscience. On 27 December 2009, Tal was taken from her home by officers of one of the security offices in Syria because she has written poems about Palestine and...

, a 19-year old blogger summoned for interrogation on 27 December 2009 and never went back home.

Thailand

On 12 March 2004, Somchai Neelapaijit
Somchai Neelapaijit
Somchai Neelapaijit , a Thai Muslim-lawyer and human rights activist, disappeared on March 12, 2004 during Thaksin Shinawatra's regime. Strongly suspected to be deceased, he is still the subject of an investigation launched in 2004...

, a well-known Thai
Thai people
The Thai people, or Siamese, are the main ethnic group of Thailand and are part of the larger Tai ethnolinguistic peoples found in Thailand and adjacent countries in Southeast Asia as well as southern China. Their language is the Thai language, which is classified as part of the Kradai family of...

 Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 activist lawyer in the kingdom's southern region, was kidnapped by Thai police and has since disappeared. Officially listed as a disappeared person, his presumed widow, Mrs. Ankhana Neelapaichit, has been seeking justice for her husband since Somchai first went missing. On 11 March 2009, Mrs. Neelapaichit was part of a special panel at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand to commemorate her husband's disappearance and to keep attention focused on the case and on human rights abuses in Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

.

Turkey

Turkish
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 human rights groups accuse the Turkish security forces of being responsible for the disappearance of more than 1,500 civilians of the Kurdish
Kurdish people
The Kurdish people, or Kurds , are an Iranian people native to the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan, which includes adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey...

 minority in the 1980s and 1990s, in attempts to root out the PKK. Each year Yakar-Der, the Turkish Human Rights Association (I˙HD) and the International Committee Against Disappearances (ICAD), organise a series of events in Turkey to mark the "Week of Disappeared People".

In April 2009, state prosecutors in Turkey ordered the excavation of several sites around Turkey believed to hold Kurdish victims of state death squads from the 1980s and 1990s, in response for Turkey's security establishment to come clean about past abuses.

Film

  • A Wall of Silence
    A Wall of Silence
    A Wall of Silence is a 1993 Argentine drama film starring Vanessa Redgrave. The film concerns a turbulent period in Argentine history, the National Reorganization Process as well as the responsibility of artists in engaging and interpreting human stories from this period. It was directed by Lita...

    (1993) – Directed by Lita Stantic
    Lita Stantic
    Élida Stantic , and more commonly known and credited as Lita Stantic, is an Argentine cinema producer, screenplay writer, and director....

  • Imagining Argentina
    Imagining Argentina (film)
    Imagining Argentina is a 2003 film directed and written by Christopher Hampton. The movie was nominated for the "Golden Lion" award at the 2003 Venice Film Festival...

    (2003) – Directed by Christopher Hampton
    Christopher Hampton
    Christopher James Hampton CBE, FRSL is a British playwright, screen writer and film director. He is best known for his play based on the novel Les Liaisons dangereuses and the film version Dangerous Liaisons and also more recently for writing the nominated screenplay for the film adaptation of...

    .
  • The Official Story
    The Official Story
    The Official Story is a 1985 Argentine drama film directed by Luis Puenzo, and written by Puenzo and Aída Bortnik. It stars Norma Aleandro, Héctor Alterio, and Chunchuna Villafañe, among others. In the United Kingdom, it was released as The Official Version.The film is about an upper middle class...

    (1985) – Directed by Luis Puenzo
    Luis Puenzo
    Luis Adalberto Puenzo is an Argentine film director, producer and screenplay writer.He works mainly in the cinema of Argentina, but has also worked in the United States.-Biography:...

    .
  • Missing
    Missing (film)
    Missing is a 1982 American drama film directed by Costa Gavras, and starring Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Mayron, John Shea, Charles Cioffi and Janice Rule...

    (1986) – Directed by Costa-Gavras
    Costa-Gavras
    Costa-Gavras, is a Greek filmmaker, who lives and works in France, best known for films with overt political themes, most famously the fast-paced thriller, Z...

    .
  • Night of the Pencils
    Night of the Pencils (film)
    Night of the Pencils is an Argentine drama film directed by Héctor Olivera and written by Olivera and Daniel Kon. It is based on the non-fiction book by María Seoane and Héctor Ruiz Núñez....

    (1982) – Directed by Héctor Olivera
    Héctor Olivera
    Héctor Olivera is a film director, producer and screenwriter.He works mainly in the cinema of Argentina, but has contributed to numerous films in the United States.-Biography:...

    .
  • The Year My Parents Went on Vacation (2006) – Directed by Cao Hamburger
    Cao Hamburger
    Carlos Imperio Hamburger , or, simply, Cao Hamburger, is a Brazilian screenwriter and director of movies and TV. He is the creator of the Castelo Rá-Tim-Bum series of programs for children in the TV Cultura of São Paulo, which gave origin also to a successful movie picture with the same title...

    .
  • Rendition
    Rendition (film)
    Rendition is a 2007 drama film directed by Gavin Hood and starring Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, Peter Sarsgaard, Alan Arkin, Jake Gyllenhaal and Omar Metwally. It centers on the controversial CIA practice of extraordinary rendition, and is based on the true story of Khalid El-Masri who was...

    (2007) – Directed by Gavin Hood
    Gavin Hood
    Gavin Hood is a South African filmmaker, screenwriter, producer and actor, best known for writing and directing the Academy Award-winning Foreign Language Film Tsotsi...

    .
  • Dukot (2009) – Directed by Joel Lamangan
    Joel Lamangan
    Joel Lamangan is a Filipino film director, television director and actor. He rose to fame in the early 1990s as an auteur dramatic filmmaker. His award-winning films includes Sidhi, Deathrow, Hubog, Aishte Imasu 1941, Blue Moon and Mano Po.On August 19, 2008, Lamangan directed his first indie movie...

    .

Literature

  • Catch-22
    Catch-22
    Catch-22 is a satirical, historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller. He began writing it in 1953, and the novel was first published in 1961. It is set during World War II in 1943 and is frequently cited as one of the great literary works of the twentieth century...

    . Written by Joseph Heller
    Joseph Heller
    Joseph Heller was a US satirical novelist, short story writer, and playwright. His best known work is Catch-22, a novel about US servicemen during World War II...

    .
  • Darkness at Noon
    Darkness at Noon
    Darkness at Noon is a novel by the Hungarian-born British novelist Arthur Koestler, first published in 1940...

    . Written by Arthur Koestler
    Arthur Koestler
    Arthur Koestler CBE was a Hungarian author and journalist. Koestler was born in Budapest and, apart from his early school years, was educated in Austria...

    .
  • The Disappeared. Written by Kim Echlin
    Kim Echlin
    Kim Echlin is a Canadian writer. Her 2009 novel, The Disappeared, was a nominee for the 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize.-Books:* Elephant Winter * Dagmar's Daughter * Inanna: From the Myth of Ancient Sumer...

    .
  • "Graffiti" from the collection Queremos tanto a Glenda. Written by Julio Cortázar
    Julio Cortázar
    Julio Cortázar, born Jules Florencio Cortázar, was an Argentine writer. Cortázar, known as one of the founders of the Latin American Boom, influenced an entire generation of Spanish speaking readers and writers in the Americas and Europe.-Early life:Cortázar's parents, Julio José Cortázar and...

    .
  • Información para extranjeros (English Title: Information for Foreigners). Written by Griselda Gambaro
    Griselda Gambaro
    Griselda Gambaro is an Argentine writer, whose novels, plays, short stories, story tales, essays and novels for teenagers often concern the political violence in her home country that would develop into the Dirty War. One recurring theme is the desaparecidos and the attempts to recover their...

    .
  • La muerte y la doncella (English Title: Death and the Maiden
    Death and the Maiden (play)
    Death and the Maiden is a 1990 play by Chilean playwright Ariel Dorfman. The world premiere was staged at the Royal Court Theatre in London on 9 July 1991, directed by Lindsay Posner...

    ). Written by Ariel Dorfman
    Ariel Dorfman
    Vladimiro Ariel Dorfman is an Argentine-Chilean novelist, playwright, essayist, academic, and human rights activist. A citizen of the United States since 2004, he has been a professor of literature and Latin American Studies at Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina since 1985.-Personal...

    .
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four
    Nineteen Eighty-Four
    Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell is a dystopian novel about Oceania, a society ruled by the oligarchical dictatorship of the Party...

    . Written by George Orwell
    George Orwell
    Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist...

    .
  • A Tale of Two Cities
    A Tale of Two Cities
    A Tale of Two Cities is a novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. With well over 200 million copies sold, it ranks among the most famous works in the history of fictional literature....

    . Written by Charles Dickens
    Charles Dickens
    Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

    .
  • V for Vendetta
    V for Vendetta
    V for Vendetta is a ten-issue comic book series written by Alan Moore and illustrated mostly by David Lloyd, set in a dystopian future United Kingdom imagined from the 1980s to about the 1990s. A mysterious masked revolutionary who calls himself "V" works to destroy the totalitarian government,...

    . Written by Alan Moore
    Alan Moore
    Alan Oswald Moore is an English writer primarily known for his work in comic books, a medium where he has produced a number of critically acclaimed and popular series, including Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and From Hell...

    , illustrated by David Lloyd.
  • When Darkness Falls. Written by James Grippando
    James Grippando
    -Biography:James Grippando was born in Waukegan, Illinois and raised in rural Illinois.In his first job out of law school Grippando served as law clerk to the Honorable Thomas A. Clark, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta...

     (2007).
  • The Ministry of Special Cases. Written by Nathan Englander
    Nathan Englander
    Nathan Englander is a Jewish-American author born in Long Island, NY in 1970. He wrote the short story collection, For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., in 1999...

     (2007).

Popular music

  • A song called "Desaparecidos" appeared on the album Voice of America
    Voice of America (album)
    Voice of America is a 1983 album by Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul.This album traded in the horns and the R & B influences of the previous Men Without Women for a raw, garage rock sound...

     by Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul.
  • "Desapariciones" by Rubén Blades
    Rubén Blades
    Rubén Blades Bellido de Luna is a Panamanian salsa singer, songwriter, lawyer, actor, Latin jazz musician, and politician, performing musically most often in the Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz genres...

     (also covered by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
    Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
    Los Fabulosos Cadillacs is an Argentine ska band from Buenos Aires. Formed in 1985, they released their first album, Bares y Fondas in 1986...

     and Maná
    Maná
    Maná is a pop rock band from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, whose career has spanned more than three decades. They have earned three Grammy Awards, seven Latin Grammy Awards, five MTV Video Music Awards Latin America, five Premios Juventud awards, nine Billboard Latin Music Awards and 13 Premios Lo...

    ).
  • "Mothers of the Disappeared
    Mothers of the Disappeared
    "Mothers of the Disappeared" is a song by rock band U2. It is the eleventh and final track on their 1987 album The Joshua Tree. The song was inspired by lead singer Bono's experiences in Nicaragua and El Salvador in July 1986, following U2's involvement on Amnesty International's A Conspiracy of...

    " appeared on the album The Joshua Tree
    The Joshua Tree
    The Joshua Tree is the fifth studio album by rock band U2. It was produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, and was released on 9 March 1987 on Island Records. In contrast to the ambient experimentation of their 1984 release The Unforgettable Fire, U2 aimed for a harder-hitting sound on The Joshua...

    , by U2
    U2
    U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono , The Edge , Adam Clayton , and Larry Mullen, Jr. . U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music...

    .
  • "They Dance Alone (Cueca Solo)
    They Dance Alone
    "They Dance Alone " is a protest song composed by English musician Sting and published first on the 1987 album ...Nothing Like the Sun. The song is a metaphor referring to mourning Chilean women who dancing the Cueca, the national dance of Chile, alone with photographs of their disappeared loved...

    " appeared on the album ...Nothing Like the Sun
    ...Nothing Like the Sun
    …Nothing Like the Sun is a 1987 album by Sting. The title comes from Shakespeare's Sonnet #130 , which Sting used in the song "Sister Moon"...

    by Sting.
  • "Desaparecidos, a defunct indie-rock band from Omaha
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska, United States, and is the county seat of Douglas County. It is located in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about 20 miles north of the mouth of the Platte River...

    , Nebraska.
  • The song The Circle (Los Olvidados) by Kris Kristofferson
    Kris Kristofferson
    Kristoffer "Kris" Kristofferson is an American musician, actor, and writer. He is known for hits such as "Me and Bobby McGee", "For the Good Times", "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down", and "Help Me Make It Through the Night"...

     is about the Disappeared Ones
  • The song Undercover of the night
    Undercover of the Night
    "Undercover of the Night" is the lead track and first single from English rock and roll band The Rolling Stones' 1983 album Undercover.-Inspiration and recording:...

     by The Rolling Stones
    The Rolling Stones
    The Rolling Stones are an English rock band, formed in London in April 1962 by Brian Jones , Ian Stewart , Mick Jagger , and Keith Richards . Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early line-up...

     mentions the Desaparecidos of South America.

See also

  • Argentine Dirty War
    Dirty War
    The Dirty War was a period of state-sponsored violence in Argentina from 1976 until 1983. Victims of the violence included several thousand left-wing activists, including trade unionists, students, journalists, Marxists, Peronist guerrillas and alleged sympathizers, either proved or suspected...

  • Black site
    Black site
    In military terminology, a black site is a location at which an unacknowledged black project is conducted. Recently, the term has gained notoriety in describing secret prisons operated by the United States Central Intelligence Agency , generally outside of U.S. territory and legal jurisdiction. It...

    s
  • Black jails
    Black jails
    Black jails are a network of extralegal detention centers established by Chinese security forces across the People's Republic of China in recent years. They are used mainly to detain, without trial, petitioners , who travel to seek redress for grievances unresolved at the local level...

     (China)
  • Comisión Nacional sobre la Desaparición de Personas
    Comisión Nacional sobre la Desaparición de Personas
    National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons was an Argentine organization created by President Raúl Alfonsín on 15 December 1983, shortly after his inauguration, to investigate the fate of the desaparecidos and other human rights violations performed during the military dictatorship...

  • Command responsibility
    Command responsibility
    Command responsibility, sometimes referred to as the Yamashita standard or the Medina standard, and also known as superior responsibility, is the doctrine of hierarchical accountability in cases of war crimes....

  • Damnatio memoriae
    Damnatio memoriae
    Damnatio memoriae is the Latin phrase literally meaning "condemnation of memory" in the sense of a judgment that a person must not be remembered. It was a form of dishonor that could be passed by the Roman Senate upon traitors or others who brought discredit to the Roman State...

  • Extraordinary rendition
    Extraordinary rendition
    Extraordinary rendition is the abduction and illegal transfer of a person from one nation to another. "Torture by proxy" is used by some critics to describe situations in which the United States and the United Kingdom have transferred suspected terrorists to other countries in order to torture the...

  • Ghost detainee
    Ghost detainee
    Ghost detainee is an official term used by the U.S. Government to designate a person held in a detention center, whose identity has been hidden by keeping them unregistered and therefore anonymous. It was also used in the same manner by the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center at the Abu...

  • Gukurahundi
    Gukurahundi
    The Gukurahundi refers to the suppression by Zimbabwe's 5th Brigade in the predominantly Ndebele regions of Zimbabwe most of whom were supporters of Joshua Nkomo. A few hundred disgruntled former ZIPRA combatants waged armed banditry against the civilians in Matabeleland, and destroyed government...

  • International Day of the Disappeared
    International Day of the Disappeared
    The International Day of the Disappeared on August 30 is an annual commemoration day created to draw attention to the fate of individuals imprisoned at places and under poor conditions unknown to their relatives and/or legal representatives...

  • Missing person
    Missing person
    A missing person is a person who has disappeared for usually unknown reasons.Missing persons' photographs may be posted on bulletin boards, milk cartons, postcards, and websites, along with a phone number to be contacted if a sighting has been made....

  • Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, an Argentine activist group formed by mothers of desaparecidos
  • North Korean abductions of Japanese
    North Korean abductions of Japanese
    The abductions of Japanese citizens from Japan by agents of the North Korean government happened during a period of six years from 1977 to 1983. Although only 17 Japanese are officially recognized by the Japanese government as having been abducted, there may have been as many as 70 to 80...

  • Nacht und Nebel
    Nacht und Nebel
    Nacht und Nebel was a directive of Adolf Hitler on 7 December 1941 signed and implemented by Armed Forces High Command Chief Wilhelm Keitel, resulting in the kidnapping and forced disappearance of many political activists and resistance 'helpers' throughout Nazi Germany's occupied...

  • Police encounter
  • Secret police
    Secret police
    Secret police are a police agency which operates in secrecy and beyond the law to protect the political power of an individual dictator or an authoritarian political regime....

  • Arbitrary arrest and detention
    Arbitrary arrest and detention
    Arbitrary arrest and arbitrary detention are the arrest or detention of an individual in a case in which there is no likelihood or evidence that they committed a crime against legal statute, or in which there has been no proper due process of law...

  • Selective assassination
  • Unperson
  • Unexplained disappearances
    Unexplained disappearances
    Unexplained disappearance is the physical disappearance of people or other objects without apparent cause or reason.-Notable disappearances:-Benjamin Bathurst:...

  • List of people who have mysteriously disappeared
  • Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
    Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
    The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, also known as VDPA, is a human rights declaration adopted by consensus at the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993 in Vienna, Austria...

  • International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
    International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
    The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance is an international human rights instrument of the United Nations and intended to prevent forced disappearance defined in international law, crimes against humanity. The text was adopted by the United...


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