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
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