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Justice

Sidewalks Full of Handmade Monuments to Buenos Aires's Disappeared

Grassroots organizations help families make “memory tiles,” recollections of the thousands who vanished under the last Argentinian dictatorship.
In Buenos Aires, handmade plaques laid into the sidewalk commemorate the "desaparecidos" who disappeared under the military dictatorship.
In Buenos Aires, handmade plaques laid into the sidewalk commemorate the "desaparecidos" who disappeared under the military dictatorship.Courtesy of Barrios x La Memoria y Justicia

This post is part of a CityLab series on open secrets—stories about what’s hiding in plain sight.

Liliana Giovannelli, 61, rarely visits the commemorative stone in Buenos Aires that carries her husband’s name. Set into the sidewalk in the north of the Argentine capital, it does not mark his grave, but the spot where he disappeared from work at a ceramic factory in 1977, at the age of 27. His body was never found. Some 40 years later, Giovannelli is still looking.