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NCJ Number: 157086 Find in a Library
Title: Voice of the Prison That Sings
Journal: Social Politics  Volume:1  Issue:2  Dated:(Summer 1994)  Pages:231-245
Author(s): E Hampsten
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 15
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The prison experiences of women during Uruguay's military dictatorship of 1973-84 are described, with emphasis on the story of Maria Condananza, who wrote about her 5 years in prison.
Abstract: Tupamaro resistance fighters and other activists were imprisoned, often for several years. Women were prosecuted both for being activists and for refusing to remain dependent on and obedient to men. In their testimonials, memoirs, and other accounts, women also seem to express their emotions about their experiences more openly than men. Maria Condenanza's writings, called La Espera, contain many themes: isolation, tedium, the dread of what might happen next, and the resistance created through communication among prisoners. Prisoners experienced severe physical and psychological abuse. Prisons were planned to drive the inmates insane. Maria and her husband Fernando were arrested in 1975 as members of the Communist Youth Organization, Fernando for publishing a newsletter and Maria for her activity in the organization and for being connected to him. The imprisoned women supported one another by observing birthdays, exchanging small gifts, singing, and using surreptitious greetings. The years of the dictatorship still have a strong influence on public and private life, particularly the element of ambiguity, unfinished business, and unwillingness to speak about certain aspects of the past. 9 references
Main Term(s): Corrections in foreign countries
Index Term(s): Cruel and unusual punishment; Female inmates; Political offenders; Torture; Uruguay
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