Legacies of the Dirty War
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Based on fieldwork in two neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, this thesis explores the differences and similarities in perception of the residents of what happened during and after the dirty war (1976 – 1983) regarding justice and truth-telling. The neighborhoods, Retiro and Villa 31, are chosen for their contrast and proximity: Retiro is a rich neighborhood, whilst Villa 31 is a poor neighborhood, yet the two neighborhoods border each other. The research is based on semi-structured interviews about how the residents of the two neighborhoods (or their parents) experienced the dirty war and what their opinion is about justice and truth-telling. Also, case-studies serve to illustrate the research-findings. The reasons for the differences and similarities in perception found between the residents of the two neighborhoods are analyzed. An important difference is the different stance people in both neighborhoods take in the matter, in addition to which left- and right- thinking patterns play an important role. Central to the discussion of the research findings are the concepts of collective memory, trauma, reconciliation, justice and truth-telling. About the concept of collective memory two different opinions exist in the two neighborhoods, which work through in the opinions about justice and truth-telling.