Following a commemorative march in the Dominican Republic, social organizations are calling for a governmental truth commission to compile the country's thousands of victims of forced disappearances.
The Memorial Museum of the Dominican Resistance organized a march to honor the memory of over 20,000 Dominicans who are said to have been forcibly disappeared during both Rafael Trujillo's dictatorship and the administration of Joaquin Balaguer.
The march took place Saturday afternoon in the Parque Colon and was led by Luisa de Pena Diaz, director general for the MMRD.
“The disappeared is a perpetual crime, and the memory is the way to counter those who tried to erase the existence of thousands of people in the Dominican Republic and hundreds of thousands in the world,” de Pena Diaz told the demonstrators, who this year have taken their mission a step further, demanding the government account for the host of missing family members and create a truth commission.
“We demand a real and official listing of people who were victims of state terrorism in the 20th century,” the director general said.
"All of us here were born or grew up in dictatorships. We have to learn from that past to build a more just society for the future," she said adding that it has taught them to “fight the impunity of the past.”
The event took place ahead of the International Day of Victims of Forced Disappearances on Aug. 30, which was first initiated by the United Nations in 2010 after requests were made by the Latin American Federation of Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared.
The Dominican Republic’s forced disappearances happened between the years 1930-1960 and 1966-1978.