EL SALVADOR: The Right to Truth


Sociologist Angelina Snodgrass Godoy has poured through declassified archives to find information about people who were disappeared during the Salvadoran armed conflict. She writes about her research process and how "recognition can come to constitute a form of reparation."

The images have a haunting quality. Some look like studio portraits: fresh-faced young people, shoulders angled artfully toward the photographer, smiles fixed across their lips. Despite the low resolution, one can almost make out the shine on their curls. Others are photos clearly lifted from an ID document — expressions serious, the partial arc of an official stamp sometimes visible in a corner. And mixed among these frozen snapshots of a better time, there are others: mug shots of people backed against a wall or photographed from the side, some with dark circles under their eyes and unkempt hair; others appear bruised. These may have been the last photographs taken of them alive...

Angelina Snodgrass Godoy
Publication date: 
August 17, 2016
Publication type: 
Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies Article