In the context of violence and enforced disappearance in Mexico, the concept of mourning is recontextualized from a psychoanalytic perspective. Two themes of the psychoanalytic theory of mourning are considered: 1) the impossibility to confirm the death of the missing person and 2) the availability and purpose of symbolic resources (rites, community activities). The private and public aspects of mourning are reviewed in relation to the afflictions of the relatives of the missing. Without a body to mourn, the rites that are performed around the disappeared have a different function than funeral rites. Nuanced by repetition, these rites attempt to work through the traumatic loss. The role of search groups in working through the pain of loss is also explored. The notions of intrapsychic crypt and endocryptic identification are reviewed, to better understand the encrypted mourning -the particular state of prolonged grief- endured by the relatives of the disappeared.
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