Dealing with the past: Survivors’ perspectives on economic reparations in Argentina

The experiences of persons affected by gross human rights violations during the dictatorship in Argentina, with regard to economic reparations for their suffering and losses, were explored.


Thirty-seven participants were interviewed, 35 of whom were survivors and/or family members of persons seriously affected by the violence during the period from 1976 to 1983. Economic reparations form part of the Argentine state’s efforts to deal with the atrocities of the past, with such reparations constituting one of the transitional justice mechanisms implemented. The findings suggest that economic reparation, especially in the absence of justice, was regarded as problematic and contradictory by most participants. Thus, the reactions to economic reparation seem related to the context in which it was provided and to what it was provided for. Accepting reparations for oneself was less problematic than accepting it for disappeared family members. Nevertheless, some of the participants regarded the provision of reparation as a form of public confirmation of the injustice done. The study underscores the importance of a broader transitional justice process, including access to truth and legal justice.

International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation, 2015, 4 (4), 223-238

Published Jan. 18, 2016 7:00 AM - Last modified Jan. 9, 2020 2:11 PM