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Title: ¡Vivxs lxs Queremos! : the battles for memory around the disappeared in Mexico
Author: De Vecchi Gerli, María
ISNI:       0000 0004 7660 0678
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis analyses the battles for memory around the disappeared in Mexico by comparing the two main periods of disappearances, this is the period between the 1960s-1980s and that from the mid-2000s onwards. Following a critical ethnography methodology with a psychosocial approach the thesis analyses memory realms (dates, categories used to name disappearances and memorials) created by memory entrepreneurs. The thesis focuses mainly on seven organisations of relatives of the disappeared. The contexts of the two periods mark the battles for memory. In the first period, framed by the government's attack on political opponents, the relatives emphasised the state's responsibility in the disappearances, and insisted on the liberation of the disappeared. The response of state actors was marked by denial and silence. The transitional justice measures taken during the change of government in 2000 perpetrated impunity and silence about disappearances. The second period is framed by the so-called 'War on Drugs', and is also inserted in a context where human rights discourses and institutions set a path for the relationships between the government and the relatives of the disappeared. Thus, relatives of the disappeared make specific demands to the government using a human rights discourse, whilst state actors fail to acknowledge the extent of the phenomenon and mainly blame disappearances on organised crime. Finally, the thesis analyses the impact of the enforced disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa students on the broader issue of disappearances. This case had an effect of making other cases less prominent, whilst making the broader phenomenon of disappearances more visible. The low social will to remember, which has been a constant during the two periods, changed around this case. In a context where more than 37,000 persons are disappeared in Mexico, this thesis contributes to the necessity of understanding past and present disappearances. Keywords: Memory, disappearances, enforced disappearances, Mexico, memorials, human rights, transitional justice.
Supervisor: Middlebrook, K. ; Drinot, P. ; Engstrom, P. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available