Report: “Still? This is The Word That Hurts The Most”

Living with absence is a painful reality for family members of thousands of people who have disappeared. In Brazil, the ICRC has observed the disappearance of people as a current reality, which has been going on for decades and is linked to different factors, including violence. For years and even decades, these family members live with uncertainty about the fate and whereabouts of their loved one. They dedicate themselves exhaustively to the search for answers. On this path, they face traumatic experiences, risk, helplessness and misunderstanding. But they develop extraordinary resilience to deal with new problems specific to their condition, but their lives are affected in almost every area.

For this reason, the Regional Delegation for Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) carried out an assessment of needs in 2018 to better understand the difficulties faced by these families. This report is the result of interviews with family members of people who disappeared in the state of São Paulo and with professionals working in this area, in order to understand these needs and guide their work in Brazil.