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How many Desaparecidos were there; Which is the right number ?

Apart from the 8,960 cases officially documented by CONADEP in its 1983 report, there are between 2,000 and 3,000 more disappearances from the 1976-1983 period which have been reported, after the commission completed its work, at the ministry of the interior. More cases have been trickling in since then, bringing the official number to nearly 12,000 cases.

In addition, there are many people who have never come forward, either because they lived too far away from the cities or were otherwise too poor to make the reporting effort. We figure, as the more serious human rights groups do, that the number of "disappeared" is 15,000. But one must not forget the many people who were killed in "confrontations," a euphemism that was widely used by the military, for the thousands of cases in which bodies were returned to the families. These are not "disappeared" in the strict sense since their bodies were recovered, but are victims of the same regime. Adding these to the 12,000 disappeared would probably bring the number of victims to above 20,000.

Lastly, there is a very large number of people who were "disappeared" for a few weeks or months but released while still alive, after suffering tortures. We do not count these cases into the total since they have reappeared. Still, such nuances can be confusing as various media reports prove again and again.

Based on the above, we estimate the number of victims killed by the Argentine military juntas and their accomplices, during the 1976-1983 era to be between 20,000 and 30,000 persons.

Posted on 1999-01-01


Cyberspace Graveyard for Disappeared Persons
Asian Human Rights Commission

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