This thesis demonstrates the essential role human rights activists play in the process of transitional justice. Through an analysis of the conceptualizations of transitional justice, in which I argue we must understand the process in broader terms that include both judicial and non-judicial practices, I enter into a comparative analysis of the case studies of Argentina and Spain. I explore Argentina’s Dirty War and the wound that was subsequently created. I question how this wound came to be and how the country chose to deal with it. I then turn my attention to the case of Spain, who unlike Argentina, did not undergo a formal process of transitional justice. Here, I analyze the informal process of transitional justice that occurred and the work of human rights activists in this process, looking to the possibility of a formal process similar to Argentina perhaps occurring in the future. I conclude my thesis by raising the question: what can we learn from the cases of Argentina and Spain and how can we apply this to the United States, who has not undergone a process of transitional justice but seems to be looking to engage with one?