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Íconos. Revista de Ciencias Sociales

On-line version ISSN 1390-8065Print version ISSN 1390-1249


VARGAS, Isaac. More than a binder… Disappeared persons’ mothers and their case files in Mexico. Íconos [online]. 2022, n.73, pp.143-160. ISSN 1390-8065.

The crisis of disappearances in Mexico worsened in 2007, when then-President Felipe Calderon launched the war on drugs. Since then, more than 80,000 people have been reported as missing. In this panorama of violence and uncertainty, a bureaucratic apparatus tries to manage the search and mourning of families still awaiting the return of their loved ones. The following pages deal mainly with the way in which the binder -that is, the case file containing the official investigation carried out by the authorities- plays a central role in the search process. Through the voices of thirteen mothers whose daughters and sons have been disappeared, the binder is framed as a person-object, which represents a material embodiment of the victim. Through this perspective, which goes beyond the rational limits imposed by the state, this paper is based on the negative methodology proposed by the anthropologist Yael Navaro. Thus, one of the conclusions shows how through objects the disappeared persons continue to participate in the everyday life of their loved ones, as well as in the claims for justice. Finally, it is important to note that all the names of people and places have been modified.

Keywords : affect; bureaucracy; disappearance, drug war; Mexico; victims.

        · abstract in Spanish     · text in Spanish     · Spanish ( pdf )