After 25 years of protesting in Buenos Aires' main square for information about the disappearance of their loved ones, the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo (Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo) commemorated their 1.500th weekly march by calling an end to the resistance marches and praising President Nestor Kirchner.
However, other human rights organizations believe that the vigils should continue to demand information on the whereabouts of the thousands of people who still remain disappeared from Argentina's last military dictatorship (1976-1983).
Last Thursday marked the 25th annual 24-hour march held by the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo. The organization has decided to end the march in the Plaza de Mayo because "we no longer have an enemy in the government ?. There is a new era in the politics of this country and Latin America," explained Hebe de Bonafini, president of the group.
Argentina's President Nestor Kirchner "has opened up many doors and done more than anyone could have hoped for," de Bonafini explained, referring to his efforts to strip former military leaders of their judicial immunity, repeal amnesty legislation and change the military schools curricula.
In their familiar uniform of white scarves worn over their hair, and under their slogan "to resist is to overcome," the women endured the summer sun to make their final circuit of the square outside Government House the Casa Rosada, in Buenos Aires. They were joined by 200 members of other human rights organizations as well as local artists such as León Gieco and Víctor Heredia.
Madres de la Plaza de Mayo was founded in 1977 to fight for information about the vast number of Argentine nationals who were disappeared during the country's last military dictatorship, 1976/83. Official figures claim that 18,000 were disappeared during this period, but human rights groups estimate the true figure to be almost double, about 30,000.
Estela Carloto, from the organization Abuelas (Grandmothers) de Plaza de Mayo, mentions these figures as reasons to continue demonstrating against the atrocities which took place, including the kidnapping of hundreds of children.
"We need to keep asking: where are the 30,000 who have disappeared; the killers are not in jail and we still haven't found 500 stolen children."
While the protests will no longer continue, the Madres de Plaza de Mayo will still hold silent vigils every Thursday in memory of those that are still disappeared.