Victor Basterra was a political prisoner in ESMA who was forced to take photographs of other political prisoners to falsify identification documents for the Navy. Whenever Basterra had the chance to go home, he would hide copies of photographs of the Disappeared and Navy personnel in his underwear. Basterra took a life-threatening risk a multitude of times to resist the junta, hold the Navy personnel accountable and identify the disappeared at ESMA. Basterra had the strength to respond with action for the horrible human rights crimes that were occurring in Argentina.
Basterra acted in the way that the psychiatric nursing community is demanding psychiatric nursing should do, which is bring awareness to the human rights violations people are experiencing. What Basterra did during the State Terror when he published a book of photographs of the Disappeared at ESMA and is continuing to do with speaking out against the injustices of the State Terror is inspiring. Basterra’s resistance, resilience, and courage to bring awareness of systematic repression is how we should all respond to injustices if we have to ability and privilege to.
Psychological Consequences of Human Rights Abuses: How Can Psychiatric Nurses Respond? [Abstract]. (2008). Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 22(5), 312. doi:10.1016/j.apnu.2008.06.002