This article will present the case of Argentina and the conditions, struggles and social actors that made the establishment of the world’s first successful truth commission possible after the most recent dictatorship, in power between 1976 and 1983. This study is aimed at not only acknowledging the work of civil society organizations, who pressure powerholders to be responsive to victims’ concerns, but to argue that victims’ organizations were the ones who took a leading role in the truth commissions/achieving justice or human rights. The article will also show that victims’ organizations have worked to reach their goals by engaging with the state from a proactive and empowered position that pushed the process forward over government resistance. Through this in-depth case study, the article aims to transform the question from what shall be done in terms of truth commissions to who shall do it. The assumption is that the leading role of victims’ organizations in engaging with the state through participatory democracy can foster truth-seeking mechanisms beyond the limits of realpolitik.