Watch the webinar below:
1. Introduction of the Speaker: 00:00- 01:27
2. Presentation: 01:29 – 30:45
Enforced disappearance has been used by undemocratic and democratic regimes as well as violent groups for decades. It is considered one of the most severe crimes because it consists of simultaneous violations of various interrelated human rights norms and has widespread pernicious psychosocial effects on the society. Despite the terrible impact, enforced disappearances have not necessarily led to civic disempowerment.
On the contrary, the relatives of the disappeared persons have often engaged in strategic collective actions as a way to resist nonviolently the crime and its demobilizing effects. Those most affected have created solidarity groups or mutual aid associations to help victims’ families, confront perpetrators and raise awareness about disappearances. Various nonviolent actions of defiance mobilized people, made violations visible not only on a domestic but also an international stage and, in some cases, imposed costs and constraints on governments that resulted in the adoption of search protocols, passing new anti-disappearance legislation, or acknowledgement of crimes committed by responsible authorities. Arguably, in some cases these efforts have even been successful in preventing further disappearances.
This webinar will present various examples of nonviolent organizing and actions against forced disappearances and their role and impact.
Alejandro Vélez is the editor in chief of Nuestra Aparente Rendición’s webpage. He has a B.A. in Political Science and a Ph.D. in Humanities. In his Ph.D. research he sought to make visible the pernicious effects on peace and human rights that originated in the global securitarian response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He came back to Mexico in 2012 and he enrolled the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitan-Xochimilco Social Psychology Faculty for a two-year postdoctoral fellowship where he did research on the catastrophe of enforced disappearance in Mexico. Along with Lolita Bosch he edited the book Tú y yo Coincidimos en la Noche Terrible (You and I Concur on the Terrible Night) that collected the life stories of all the journalists and media workers that have been murdered or disappeared since 2000 in Mexico. He likes to dwell in the triangle between academia, journalism and human rights defense.
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