Disappearances - an introduction
Disappearance” or “enforced disappearance” is:
the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State;
followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the “disappeared” person.
The practice places the “disappeared” person outside the protection of the law. Companies have been accused of being complicit in “disappearances” by providing information or other logistical support facilitating the actions of the State.
Below are select introductory materials on business and “disappearances”. Further reports from a wide range of sources are in the “Disappearances” section of our site.
- Key international standards
- Key reports & guidance
- Concerns, company responses & non-responses
- Lawsuits regarding disappearances
Key international standards
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights: articles 3 and 13
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: articles 9 and 12
- General comment: Enforced disappearances as a crime against humanity, UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary
Key reports & guidance
The Past and Present of Corporate Complicity: Financing the Argentinian Dictatorship, Juan Pablo Bahoslavsky & Veerle Opgenhaffen, Nov 2010.
Report of the Expert Legal Panel on Corporate Complicity in International Crimes, International Commission of Jurists, 2006 [includes references to corporate complicity in “disappearances”].
Concerns, company responses & non-responses
Below we give examples of concerns regarding companies and “disappearances”. In cases where the Resource Centre has invited companies to respond to allegations of misconduct, we indicate whether the company has responded.
Argentina: Ledesma accused of complicity with detention, torture & “disappearance” of over 400 people by dictatorship’s security forces in 1976, Jul 2006. Ledesma response. [Spanish only]
Argentina: Human rights activists say court ruling requiring Siderca (subsidiary of Techint) to compensate relatives of worker who was “disappeared” in 1977 is an "important precedent", Apr 2007. [Spanish only]
USA: Amnesty Intl. report gives details of private airlines & front companies allegedly involved in practice of rendition - transferring people by means that bypass judicial & administrative due process, to countries where they are held in secret & can face torture, ill-treatment, “disappearance”, Apr 2006.
Lawsuits regarding disappearances
Related stories and components
La automotriz Mercedes Benz [parte de Daimler] deberá afrontar el juicio que se realiza en los Estados Unidos por delitos de lesa humanidad cometidos en la Argentina, después del fallo de la Corte de Apelaciones de San Francisco que rechazó la...
- Related stories: US appeals court denies Daimler's bid to review ruling allowing Argentine workers' lawsuit to proceed - claims company's complicity in human rights abuses during Argentine dictatorship
- Related in-depth areas: Demandas Disappearances - an introduction Últimas noticias legales Últimas noticias sobre conflicto y paz
Author: Diario Hoy [Argentina]
Representantes de organizaciones de derechos humanos calificaron como "un antecedente importante", el fallo judicial que obligó a una empresa a indemnizar a la viuda de un delegado desaparecido durante la última dictadura militar...[L]a Corte Suprema...
- Related stories: Argentine : Filiale de Techint indemnisera une victime de la dictature - un "précédent important", selon la Ligue Argentine des droits de l'homme
- Related in-depth areas: "Desapariciones" Argentina Disappearances - an introduction Metales y materiales Metals & materials
- Related companies: Techint
Response of Ford to allegations of involvement in abuses in Argentina during the military dictatorship (1976-1983)
Author: Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is aware of the criminal lawsuit filed against former officers at Ford Argentina related to human rights issues in the ‘70s. Ford Argentina will keep a collaborative and open attitude with authorities and will provide all available...
- Related stories: Ford statement regarding legal claims brought by former employees who say they were kidnapped and tortured on Ford Argentina premises during the 1976-83 military dictatorship.
- Related in-depth areas: Abduction - an introduction Apple 2012 supplier report Complicity - an introduction Disappearances - an introduction Quarterly Bulletin on Business and Children
- This is a response from the following companies: Ford
Author: Gonzalo Besteiro, RosarioNet [Argentina]
Hace 30 años se produjo el “Apagón de Ledesma”. Durante la noche del 27 de junio de 1976, en medio de la oscuridad, 400 personas fueron secuestradas y torturadas, con la complicidad del Ingenio azucarero. La lucha por acabar con la impunidad continúa....
- Related stories: Argentina: Alegaciones de complicidad del Ingenio Ledesma con fuerzas de seguridad de la dictadura en 1976
- Related in-depth areas: "Desapariciones" Agricultura Agriculture Arbitrary detention - an introduction Argentina Complicity - an introduction Disappearances - an introduction Torture & ill-treatment - an introduction
- Related companies: DaimlerChrysler (now Daimler) Ford Ledesma Mercedes-Benz (part of Daimler)
Author: Amnesty International
Amnesty International today released a new report which exposes a covert operation whereby people have been arrested or abducted, transferred and held in secret or handed over to countries where they have faced torture and other ill-treatment...The...
- Related stories: Amnesty Intl. report gives details of private airlines & front companies allegedly involved in USA's practice of rendition - transferring people by means that bypass judicial & administrative due process, to countries where they are held in secret &...
- Related in-depth areas: Abduction - an introduction Apple 2012 supplier report Disappearances - an introduction Quarterly Bulletin on Business and Children