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Map of Clandestine Detention Centres
Transitory detention and clandestine detention centers
Campo de Mayo:
The day of reckoning
transmission through objects
The dictatorship on the big screen
A catalog of films
Who we are
Memoria Abierta Our History Board Staff
Memoria Abierta, coordinated action of human rights organizations, works to raise social awareness and knowledge about state terrorism in order to enrich democratic culture.

One of our primary objectives is to make accessible all documentation regarding the last military dictatorship for the purposes of research and the education of future generations. The organizations that comprise Memoria Abierta are:
Asamblea Permanente por los Derechos Humanos (APDH)

The Permanent Assembly for Human Rights (APDH) was founded December 18, 1975 during the early stages of the terrorist state established by the military dictatorship.
In response to the growing violence and illegal repression, the assembly was created by figures from the nation’s most diverse social, political, cultural, labor unions, and religious sectors.
The APDH was established as a civil association, pluralistic in nature and democratically organized, whose purpose and initial objectives included the defense of the civil and political rights established in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the Argentine National Constitution, and in internationally recognized legislation.

During the dictatorship, the APDH fought against the systematic forced disappearance, torture, and assassination of the opposition, and upheld the values of life, freedom, and respect for human dignity.
Since the rule of law was restored, the ADPH has sought to consolidate and further democracy, working to guarantee total observance of human rights by defending and promoting economic, social, and cultural rights.
As an NGO, the ADPH has obtained consultative status category II through the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Through the collaboration of a network of delegations that cover different regions of the country, the APDH promotes efforts with sister organizations that share similar objectives.
The APDH collects, studies, and evaluates the state of human rights, disseminates its conclusions, and calls for concrete observance of human rights on the part of public authorities. The organization denounces human rights violations and condemns those both directly and indirectly responsible. The APDH provides counsel to victims and their families, supports education and training for human rights promoters, as well as legislation to guarantee complete observance of human rights.
Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS)

The Center for Social and Legal Studies (CELS) is a non-governmental organization founded in 1979. Working from a technical-legal perspective, it promotes and protects human rights, the strengthening of democracy, and the rule of law in Argentina.
The CELS understands human rights as those recognized by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international legislation, and maintains that the State alone is responsible for their observance or violation.
The CELS works to denounce human rights violations, influence public policy formation, and promote greater observance of human rights on behalf of the most vulnerable sectors of society.
The CELS was founded in response to the need to eradicate the systematic human rights violations committed during the military dictatorship. Its activities focused on legal and social assistance to victims of state repression and their families. They also compiled documentation regarding the terrorist state.

Through the active collaboration of CELS, various organizations and commissions visited Argentina to evaluate the state of human rights during the last dictatorship, including Amnesty International and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the OAS. During the beginning stage of democratic transition, the CELS collaborated with the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons (CONADEP) and with the National Court of Appeals, which held the trial of those most responsible for human rights violations.
The CELS maintains that a fundamental guarantee of human rights is based on the institutional principle of achieving truth and justice with regards to the aberrant crimes that took place in Argentina’s recent past.
Since Argentina’s return to the rule of law, the CELS has expanded its initial actions to include other issues such as institutional violence, access to justice, prison conditions, gender discrimination, immigration, and demandability of economic, social, and cultural rights. A primary undertaking is preserving the memory of the past and continuing the struggle against impunity laws.
The CELS is affiliated with the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva and the International League of Human Rights in New York. It is a correspondent to the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), based in Geneva. Among the numerous honors the organization has received, the following merit special mention: Letelier-Moffit (1983), the Roger E. Joseph Prize (1988), and the Human Rights Prize of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (1988).
Fundación Memoria Histórica y Social Argentina

The Argentine Historical and Social Memory Foundation was created on November 18, 1987 and is comprised of immediate and extended family members of victims of the repression that occurred during the last military dictatorship, especially those who were detained/ disappeared. Its objectives are to:
• Preserve public awareness of human rights violations, which limit democracy, impede justice, and restrict collective and individual freedoms as well as the other guarantees established by the National Constitution.
• Develop a resource center making available to the general public academic, literary, legal, and other materials that might provide information and testimony on the subject matter.
• Promote and facilitate multidisciplinary research on the mentioned topics and their impact on the Argentine people (family rupture, identity suppression, unresolved pain), by awarding scholarships, grants, and forming work-groups.
In fulfillment of its objectives, the Argentine Historical and Social Memory Foundation promotes activities in educational centers. It organizes essay, literature, music, and art competitions, and participates in lectures and debates on human rights and state terrorism at high schools and universities.
The Argentine Historical and Social Memory Foundation is a part of Memoria Abierta and the Pro-Monument to Victims of State Terrorism Commission.
The Foundation promotes and oversees the creation of the Paseo de los Derechos Humanos, a human rights memorial walkway in remembrance of the desaparecidos, those disappeared during the military dictatorship. The memorial plaque to be placed in the Paseo will read, “In memory of the disappeared, for political, social, organized labor, and student causes…victims of the state terrorism during the 1970s”.
Madres de Plaza de Mayo - Línea Fundadora

The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo- Founding Line- continue the struggle to which they have been committed since the movement began in April 1977. From that moment on, united by a white pañuelo, or handkerchief, they have demanded TRUTH and JUSTICE for “our children who were kidnapped for having dreamt of freedom and justice for their country. We vindicate that dream, which was brutally interrupted.”
The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo- Founding Line- is a non-governmental organization dedicated to the defense of human rights, composed of mothers united in the same tragedy: the forced disappearance of their children at the hands of the Argentine state.
The Founding Line emerged in January 1986 in rejection of authoritarian structure within the organization, and as a result of ideological differences with the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo Association regarding the need for memory preservation.

The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo- Founding Line- forms part of the Latin American Federation of Associations for Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared (FEDEFAM). Throughout the years it has maintained collaborative relationships with international human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, C.I.C.R., World Council of Churches, Mitterand Foundation, SAAM (a Dutch solidarity organization), the Human Rights Coordinator of Paris and Grenoble, France, among other intergovernmental organizations.
The Mothers benefit from the solidarity of local and international organizations, as well as the collaboration of many volunteers.
Their demands are the following:
• Thorough investigation as to the whereabouts of every detained-disappeared person.
• Trial and conviction of those responsible for the terrorist state.
• Nullity of the impunity laws protecting those responsible for crimes against humanity committed under the terrorist state. These include Laws 23492 (Punto Final Law) and 23521 (Due Obedience Law), which are unconstitutional and in violation of international law (United Nations Convention Against Torture, Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons).
• Repeal of the presidential pardon decrees that completed the impunity process.
• Restitution of the identity of all children, today young adults, who were kidnapped during the dictatorship, so that they may know who their legitimate families are.
• Unceasing struggle for the observance of all human rights.
Servicio Paz y Justicia (SERPAJ)

The Peace and Justice Service (SERPAJ) is a social organization inspired by ecumenical-Christian principles, which promotes solidarity and non-violence. SERPAJ promotes the development of a society rooted in the recognition of the rights of peoples and nations.
Although its roots date back to the end of the 1960s, SERPAJ was founded in 1974 as a union of diverse groups committed to promoting Christian values and active nonviolence.
The SERPAJ arose from the Latin American liberation movements, characterized by their fight against injustice and institutional violence.
Dedicated to the poor and oppressed, SERPAJ works for a pluralistic and participatory society that overcomes all domination and safeguards respect for justice, freedom, human rights, peace, and the diverse needs of all people.
SERPAJ values awareness, organization, multisectorial articulation, and solidarity to confront the various forms of violence facing our society. It affirms the need to promote social, political, and religious dialogue that upholds diversity and strengthens collective organization.

Together with branches in other Latin American nations, the SERPAJ forms part of SERPAJ Latin America, which is a consultative member of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ESOSOC) and a consultative organization of UNESCO. In 1987, it was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education.
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, 1980 Nobel Peace Prize Winner and current president of SERPAJ Argentina, was one of the organization’s founders and served as the Latin American General Coordinator from 1974 to 1986.
SERPAJ is structured along zonal and regional group lines and divides its work into four programs: Human Rights and Democratic Development, Peace and Human Rights Education, Environment and Right to Development, and Ecumenism.
SERPAJ works to:
• Promote alternative strategies to face institutional impunity and human rights violations. Defend life and strengthen democratic participation.
• Strengthen and rebuild public spaces.
• Promote human rights and active nonviolence as tools to construct new utopias.
Sites of memory
in Latin America
El lugar de la JUSTICIA