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This chapter positions the analysis as the team initiated its investigation alongside Mamerto Pizarro's corpse, as relatives sang laments. It juxtaposes Freud's "Mourning and Melancholia" and psychoanalytic work on mourning with laments. Psychoanalysis prompts reflection on the alternation between hypercathexis, intense fixation on the image of the dead person, and reality testing, which demands a sober assessment of death's finality. The poetics of laments juxtapose wistful pasts and bleak futures by creating multiple, iterative temporalities. Lamenters charged the team to "take our words" to President Chávez, shaping the team's epidemiological work through the poetics and acoustics of lament. They demanded that news of the epidemic remain connected to their children's deaths and how delta residents produced knowledge about it, even as it became mobile. Building on Judith Butler's argument on grievability and social death, the analysis traces the parents' efforts to counter their children's social deaths and render their lives grievable.

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