• Short Summary

    In Buenos Aires, a newspaper has published a list identifying more than 3,000 people it says are "missing" political prisoners.

  • Description

    CU: newspaper showing list of 3,000 people who are missing. (2 shots)

    GV: government house in Buenos Aires.

    SV: Plaza del Mayo parents of missing people in massed protest. (2 shots)

    SCU: women protestors

    GV: police lead away cameraman and correspondent.

    The "Mad mothers" have recently been joined by another group who call themselves the "Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo". They are the mothers of missing people who believe they are also grandmothers of children born to women in captivity. Many of the women who have disappeared were pregnant. Most of the relatives have been unable to gain any information about the missing people. The government is officially holding 3,000 in detention, and, in November, in the face of pressure from the human rights lobby at home and abroad, began releasing their names. But the names listed in "La Prensa" have, so far, not been included in any of these official statistics. The Argentine Permanent Assembly for Human Rights, which is supported by church and political leaders, says that less than 100 of the 3,000 people named by the government appears on its own list-that published in "La Prensa". The majority of those listed in the newspaper were reported missing by relatives after being taken from home or places of work by armed men in civilian clothing who identified themselves as members of the security forces. Some 2,000 of those detained or who are known to have disappeared, are women.

    Initials JS/1600

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: In Buenos Aires, a newspaper has published a list identifying more than 3,000 people it says are "missing" political prisoners. The newspaper says most disappeared after being detained by security forces for questioning. Relatives of the missing people claim they are being held without trial by the military government of General Jorge Videla under the "state of siege" powers introduced to combat terrorism after the military took power. Every week, many of these relatives father in a peaceful protest rally outside the government offices in the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, seeking information about the missing people.

    SYNOPSIS: The list of missing people was paid for by three human rights organisations and took up three pages of the newspaper La Prensa. Accompanying the list was a plea to President Videla for information about the people who have disappeared after arrest by the security forces.

    It produced no immediate reply from the government for these people. They call themselves the "Mad mothers of Plaza de Mayo" and gather every week before the government building, seeking information about their missing relatives. They believe the government is holding them without trial, but the authorities, in turn claim many of the missing are guerrillas who have chosen to go underground or flee the country without telling their families.

    This gathering, normally a low key affair, has been taking place ever since the military took power. But on Thursday (18 May) police appeared and moved the protestors on and at the same time, Visnews correspondent, John Arden and his cameramen were taken to police headquarters, questioned and later released.

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