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Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo

  • By: Marguerite Guzmán
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

The Argentine Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo appeared on the political scene in the aftermath of the military coup of 1976 that ushered in one of the most brutal military dictatorships in recent times. It suspended all political institutions and began what it referred to as “antisubversive operations,” to capture and interrogate all members of suspect organizations, their sympathizers, associates, and anyone else who might oppose its rule.

The government regarded leftists and reformers as a threat to Argentina's way of life and made their destruction one of its main goals. However, because the junta did not want to incur international censure for its policies, it resorted to the deadly practice of what are termed disappearances. In what the now infamously called the Dirty War, ...

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