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Montevideo, June 25th 2019 - 11:54 UTC

 

 

Thousands of Argentines recall the March 1976 coup and demand punishment for human rights abuses

Monday, March 25th 2019 - 09:09 UTC
Full article 6 comments
With slogans such as “Memory, truth and justice”, “Never again” and “30.000 Disappeared” the marchers filled the streets of the Argentine capital With slogans such as “Memory, truth and justice”, “Never again” and “30.000 Disappeared” the marchers filled the streets of the Argentine capital
They demanded “punishment for the military guilty of genocide and their civilian participants”, in one of the bloodiest periods of recent Argentine history They demanded “punishment for the military guilty of genocide and their civilian participants”, in one of the bloodiest periods of recent Argentine history

Thousands of Argentines took to the streets on Sunday to recall “Memory Day”, March 24th, on the forty-third anniversary of the military coup that led to the country's last military dictatorship that extended from 1976 to 1983.

In Buenos Aires different civil and human rights organizations marched to the emblematic Plaza de Mayo, the epicenter of Argentine street politics and where for years the Mothers and Grandmothers of the disappeared by the dictatorship would routinely make their silent tour of the square with their white head scarves.

With slogans such as “Memory, truth and justice”, “Never again” and “30.000 Disappeared” the marchers filled the streets of the Argentine capital, together with LGTBI organizations and traditional music groups.

The poignant moment was when the Grandmothers and Mothers of Plaza de Mayo took the stand in the square to make public a statement, together with the human rights groups, demanding “punishment for the military guilty of genocide and their civilian participants”, in one of the bloodiest periods of recent Argentine history.

“It has been 43 years since the genocide coup, and in this Plaza de Mayo we reaffirm our vindication of the 30.000 disappeared and continue to fight for the motherland they dreamt with”, read out Taty Almeida, a member of the Mothers of Mayo.

She added, “Memory and truth are the tools to recover the rights” and accused the current Argentine administration of “pretending to deny” the disappeared during the dictatorship.

The stand was adorned with a huge red flower arrangement with the inscription, 30.000.

Another speaker was Estela de Carlotto, who as president of the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo recalled the long process since they started to demand an answer for all their disappeared loved ones.

“Mothers and grandmothers we have suffered the scorn, indifference, ill-treatment...but the collective construction has taught us to look after ourselves and others. We stared knitting links and that way we started to know about the fate of our children and daughters, the whereabouts of our grand children, and it was the people who demanded the truth”, underlined Ms Carlotto.

She also urged to continue looking for the disappeared so that “we don't have to farewell more grandmothers which left us without having found their grandchildren, that they looked for during decades”

“We need to break silence and commit ourselves with history” as to never forget a past which is now present.

There was a special homage to the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, EAAF, which has played a key role in the identification of the disappeared and was founded in 1984. This team is currently involved in the identification of the remains of Argentine soldier buried in the Falkland Islands.

In its 35 years EAAF has recovered 1.400 bodies and has identified over 795. At the rally it was also announced that the EAAF would launch a new campaign to identify disappeared people with DNA blood samples.

Memory Day organizers also demanded “freedom for all political prisoners” and full punishment for all those responsible for human rights abuses during the dictatorship. Since the

Supreme Court in 2008 declared unconstitutional the two laws from 1986 and 1987 referred as Due Obedience and Clean Slate acts, some 900 people have been sentenced, including the former dictator Jorge Videla, who led the 1976 military coup.

In related news the Argentine foreign ministry announced that US president Donald Trump will be delivering to Argentina declassified and released documents relating to the last dictatorship in Argentina and which were collected by Washington's twelve different Security and Intelligence agencies.

“It will be largest release of such documents by the US to another State, and this was achieved in the framework of the dialogue and cooperation process between the Argentine foreign ministry and the Trump administration”.

The release adds that these declassified documents will be a most valuable support of the Memory, Truth and Justice process in Argentina.

Categories: Politics, Argentina.

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  • Enrique Massot

    @ viejopatagon

    As you probably know, the Argentine military carried out their sinister deeds in a very methodical fashion. As they were kidnapping, torturing and sending many to their death in weekly death flights, friendly media outlets were spreading rumours about “re-education” camps where those missing would be sent.

    It took time for Argentines to realize that most of those disappeared had been murdered.

    To ensure their code of silence, the military forced all those involved to take active roles in torture and executions. As a result, no records about the kidnapped and executed were found. The CONADEP records contain information on missing persons who were reported--many weren't.

    It may be interesting for you to know that human rights groups are still working to find babies given in adoption after murdering their kidnapped mothers. Human rights groups are still working to identify human remains found in different parts of the country.

    As a result, the 30,000 is an estimation, forced by the foggy circumstances in which the military conducted the extermination of suspected opponents.

    Your claim that “the figure of 30,000 is totally false” is in tune with many arguments advanced in attempts to minimize the cruelty of what happened in the country from 1976 to 1983.

    As if the kidnapping, torture and extrajudicial killing of 8,961 human beings would, somehow, be more morally acceptable than a different number.

    Mar 27th, 2019 - 04:26 pm +2
  • Enrique Massot

    The cruel and cold plan that the Argentine armed forces and their civil allies perpetrated against fellow Argentine men, women, the elderly, the children, the infirm -- some who moved around on wheelchair -- defies imagination.

    At the same time, Argentina was able to begin dealing with the atrocities committed in a most civilized manner -- by submitting the alleged criminals to trial with all the protection of rights granted to the citizens.

    The comprehensive story above failed to mention the numerous and unflattering mentions of the Macri government by the demonstrators.

    Nunca más.

    Mar 26th, 2019 - 03:10 am +1
  • Think

    Nunca...

    Mar 26th, 2019 - 09:18 am 0
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