Transnational Networks, Human Rights, Latin America


During the civil war in El Salvador, the Salvadoran military engaged in the systematic disappearance of youth and facilitated their adoptions. Presently Found, a Salvadoran human rights NGO, works to reunite these youth with their surviving biological families. However, a key difference between Found and other similar organizations, is that the former was established in the post-war context. Through a case study of Found, and placed in comparative light with a similar phenomenon in Argentina, I will show that traditional mobilization strategies face new obstacles in a post-war context. Specifically, while Found engaged in many of the same movement tactics that have bred other major transnational networks, the post-repression context complicated their use in El Salvador. For example, the literature points to the importance of testimonies as a resource during times of contention. Found’s use of testimonies in the post-repression context changed the impact of this practice. And, unlike the case of Grandmothers in Argentina, in which exiles were key for the organization, Found did not have this same type of support network. By considering the implications of the post-contention environment for Found’s organizational efforts, contributes to the growing literature on transnational advocacy and solidarity networks.