The Missing

Many of you would remember Ruben Blades, he is a very popular Panamanian song writer, singer, actor and Activist in Latin America and mainly in the United States.
During the 80s he wrote a song that really represents and shows the reality Latin America lived during the repressive years of the Civil Wars in Central America and Military Dictatorships in South America during the decade of the 70s and 80s.
In this time, Latin America was used as a battle ground to fight the Cold War in the same way it was fought in the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa.
Communists and everyone that was against this Oppressive Governments ( supported and placed by Nixon and Kissinger) were detained out of the street, homes, schools, churches, hospitals, into military detentions centers, were they were massivly tortured, raped, humiliated and many, many times killed in the process, to later have their bodies thrown on fields or in the middle of the street (the official cause of death was Heart Failure, if any). Just in Argentina, more than 30.000 people were killed, ( at least 90.000 tottered ), also their babies were kidnaped and placed in adoption onto Military Families. Till today the Mothers and the Grandmothers of La Plaza 2 de Mayo (Bueno Aires) still fighting to find their Missing relative, and some justice.
This period of time have left a deep wound in many Latin America societies and today we are seeing the same behavior, by the same reasons, in the Middle East, Burma, Tibet and Africa. Countries like Egypt, Syria, Iran, Yemen Saudi Arabia, Israel, Palestine, Pakistan are dealing with this ghost of Repression and Government Brutality. Sadly, at the same time, under The War against Terrorism, United States is using this same techniques outside its borders, through foreign jails where torture is allowed, so the American Courts don’t have any jurisdiction there.

So please, take a time to read this song I translated for all of you, and I hope it helps expanding the importance of the respect of the Human Rights around the world and the Geneva Conventions. This is why Habeas Corpus and the Constitutions should be defend as a warrant for the security and prosperity of the Citizens of all nations.

Thank you all


Can someone tell me if you have seen my husband?
the Lady Asked.
His Name is Ernesto X, 40 years old,
he work as security in a Car dealer,
dark shirt, with clear pants.
He left home last night and he hasn’t returned,
I don’t know what to think,
because this has never happened before.

I have 3 days looking for my sister,
her name is Altagracia,
like grandma.
She left work to her school,
she got on a pair of jeans, a clear t-shirt,
it wasn’t her boyfriend, the guy is at his house,
no the police, neither the hospital knows anything of her….

Can someone tell me y you have seen my son,
he is a pre-med student,
his name is Agustin, and is a good guy,
sometimes stubborn and opinionated,
he has been detained, I don’t know with Armed Force,
clear pants, shirt with lines,
it happened the day before yesterday, …..

Clara, Clara Clara Quiñones is my mothers name,
she is, she is a sweet soul,
she never bothers no one,
She has been taken to testify,
for a trouble that’s only mine,
so I went to give me up today in the afternoon,
and now they told me they don;t know hot take her to the base…

Last night I heard many explosions,
putun, para, putun pete,
gunshot shuts and revolvers,
speed cars, brakes, screams,
boots echoes on the streets,
knocking of doors, complains, OMGs, broken plates,
the TV Shows was on,
that’s why no one looked outside…..

Where all the Missing are going?
look in the water, and between the bushes,
and Why they get Missing?
because not everyone is equal,
and When the Missing are back?
every time the memory brings them back,
and What;s the name of the Missing?
with the emotions eating our guts.

By Ruben Blades.

DESAPARECIDOS (THE MISSING) written by Ruben Blades, cover by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs (Argentina)

The Missing

Jaime Cornejo

Joined January 2011

  • Artist

Artist's Description

A song of the reality Latin America lived during the repressive years of the Civil Wars in Central America and Military Dictatorships in South America in the decade of the 70s and 80s.

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