NUNCA MAS: The Report of the Argentine National Commission on the Disappeared by Argentine National Commission

NUNCA MAS: The Report of the Argentine National Commission on the Disappeared

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The official report of the Commission set up by Argentine President Raul Alfonsin to investigate the military junta's campaign of terror that swept the South American country and resulted in the ""disappearance"" of at least 6,000 persons from 1976 to 1983. The topic was covered ably last year by British TV journalists John Simpson and Jana Bennett in their The Disappeared and the Mothers of the Plaza For the general reader, Simpson's and Bennett's work will provide the broader perspective needed for a full appreciation of this monumental report. In assembling their findings here, the 13 Commission members, headed by the distinguished Argentine novelist Ernesto Sabato, have assumed that their fellow countrymen would be totally familiar with the background of the appalling story. American readers may want to brush up on the events that led to the reign of terror before attempting this study. For those familiar with the facts, however, Nunca Más will prove a painstaking, chillingly objective and ultimately uplifting work by men dedicated, as they say, only to ""truth and justice,"" not ""vindictiveness and vengeance."" Since whatever records there were had been systematically destroyed, detention camps razed, clues obliterated, the Commission was forced to rely on statements from relatives of ""the disappeared,"" from those few who managed to escape their tortures, even from a handful of those involved in the terror who, for whatever reason, felt the need to confess their complicity. In the end, the Commission complied more than 50,000 pages of testimony, despite these limitations. As a result, the reader soon becomes aware that for each recital of abduction, imprisonment, torture, rape and execution found in these pages, there may be thousands of equally horrifying stories that are unreported. Charts and photographs add their own chilling verisimilitude to the text. The title (which translates as ""Never Again"") has become the rallying cry of Argentinians bent on the preservation of democracy in their homeland. The publication of this report will do much to make sure their aspirations are realized. Factual, unsensationalized, devastating reportage.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1986
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux