La Historia Política del Nunca Mas – Emilio Crenzel

by María Valdovinos

Nunca Mas (Never Again) is a report about disappearances in Argentina written by Ernesto Sabato and a committee of notables and published by CONADEP (Sep 20, 1984). Its goal was to clarify the events that happened in the country during the military dictatorship from March 23, 1976 to December 10, 1983. The mission of Nunca Mas was to collect all sources that can possibly serve as proof of the incredible atrocities committed during the dictatorship. The sources collected vary from documents to demands from families or friends given to the police about the disappearances, abductions and torture; all used for the same purpose, to generate reports that would inform people. This is one of the most important forms of documentation because it officially illustrated the gravity of the crimes committed by the dictatorship. As expected, it opened the eyes of many Argentines who had ignored or did not know what was taking place. Emilio Crenzel presents to readers what Nunca Mas is, describing the importance of every section.

La Historia Politica del Nunca Mas by Crenzel is an informative text that describes the purpose of every section of the CONADEP report. It legitimizes the obvious culpability of the “Fuerzas Armadas” and also describes the clandestine acts that were not yet public or recognized. He declares, “The report emphasizes the complicity of the judiciary in covering up the disappearances and the constitution of defenseless citizens (107).”Crenzel,  brings out the usual question asked after such events: How can we prevent this from happening again? And answers: “Retomando su periodización institucional de la violencia, postulando la democracia política como solución (Sabato, 186).” Throughout the text we can see that Crenzel supports the report; he says that Nunca Mas was completed to bring some justice to those whose human rights were violated. Crenzel clearly describes each section’s effectiveness. For instance, seeing and describing the clandestine centers provided a vast amount of information,   such as the number of people who were held there, the amount of time they were detained, and the intensity of the torture (115). Also, most importantly, the testimonies are shown in a declarative way with voices so people have no doubt on the severity of the cruelty (121). Each piece is extremely important and when, together as one in a book or report, it represents its’ credibility.

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