This doesn’t bring Ana Teresa Diego back, but it’s a remarkable story nonetheless:
For 35 years, Zaida Franz has not been able to find her daughter, a girl who dreamed of becoming an astronomer and then disappeared without a trace. Now she at least has an address she can think about — out in space.
“My dearest daughter, at last I can write to you, now that I have a place to find you: Asteroid 11441, between Mars and Jupiter,” she wrote in an open letter this month.
“Anadiego,” honoring Ana Teresa Diego, is the first asteroid to bear the name of a victim of Argentina’s 1976-1983 military regime, which eliminated thousands of dissidents in its crackdown on political dissent. Most were kidnapped, tortured and summarily executed, their bodies disposed of in anonymous graves. Others were drugged and thrown alive from planes miles off the coast.
As the article notes, out of close to 30,000 disappeared from the seven-year dictatorship of 1976-1983, only 510 bodies have been recovered and identified. Memorializing Diego and (as Franz put it) “all of the disappeared” this way is remarkable; from the viewpoint of analyzing public commemorations of victims of human rights violations, the fact that public memorials now appear in space is particularly unique, and speaks much about how, even as the memories of the victims inevitably will fade over time, the memorialization of victims and their families will continue well into the future.