Part of the systematic plan of the Latin American totalitarian regimes at 1970s and 1980s consisted in the disappearance of all evidence that could incriminate the perpetrators.
For this reason, survivors have become essential witnesses in truth and justice processes to establish criminal responsibilities for the crimes committed.
This paper addresses the tensions and possible suffering of witnesses in trials for crimes against humanity. For this, the testimony of Lucía Barrera de Cerna, witness to the massacre of the Jesuit Priests assassinated by the Salvadoran army in 1989, is taken as an example; also the testimony of Jorge Julio López, a survivor of a concentration camp of the Argentine dictatorship, who, after testifying in a court case in 2006, was kidnapped and, to this day, remains missing.
Michel Foucault reading of Oedipus Rex is taken as a reference to account for the courage of the witnesses who face a powerful repressive system only with their words.
Key words: Survivor | Witness | State Terrorism