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11881 - Memory and History: Argentine Female Political Prisoners Remember and Rethink

This paper recounts the history of the political formation of female political prisoners incarcerated in Devoto Penitentiary in Argentina during the period 1974-1983 in an attempt to explain how they became militants in a variety of movements that ultimately led them to be detained by the government. Emphasis is placed on their own accounts of their familial, educational, and work backgrounds in their efforts to explain what led them to become political militants. In twenty open ended interviews averaging four to eight hours, the former political prisoners evaluated their decisions to become militants in the context of Argentina then and now. In “telling their stories”, the interviewees interpreted their personal histories as viewed through the optic of their detentions, imprisonment, releases and reinsertion into Argentine society. Their evaluations of their actions were heavily influenced by their experiences in Devoto Penitentiary where they developed effective means of resistance and survival. This paper attempts to recount their history and memories in their own words.

Keywords: detención, terror, trauma, derechos humanos, resistencia

Author: Crahan, Margaret E. (Columbia University, Ud States of Am / USA)

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