Today is a holiday, Dia de Memoria.
It is a beautiful day. There were lots of people walking around and I noticed a big line at the local Freddo. Near that ice cream shop, on the exterior wall of a car dealership, I also noticed some new graffiti that loosely translates to “Here was a clandestine detention center, our children died here.” I live in a nice suburb of Buenos Aires. Over thirty years ago, almost eight years of kidnapping, torture and murder terrorized an entire population and this bad stuff was taking place around the block. Today is a day to reflect on what happen, remember those who died, and unfortunately, listen to leaders politicize it all….
During the Military Regime of 1976-1983, the Dirty War was raged against political dissidents that had created a considerable amount of chaos and violence in the early 1970’s in Argentina. This chaos lead to the end of Peron and later his wife’s rule of Argentina (not Eva, Isabel). The military took over and didn’t stop at destroying the active and organized opposition. They disappeared as many as 30,000 people, many who’s only crime was being an intellectual, a Jew,a journalist or a college student. It’s a truly ugly chapter in Argentina’s history. They threw people out of airplanes into the ocean and took infants from young parents, killed the parents, and gave the babies to deserving regime supporters. Initially, once the regime fell and democracy returned, there was immunity given to all. Later that was stripped by Nestor Kirschner who wanted the most senior officials held accountable. There have been a few convictions and house arrests for the oldest of the implicated. Many of the most senior officials are dead, very old or living abroad. There doesn’t seem to be much of a sense of justice or closure to this horrible history.
So today, the Argentines say a collective Nunca Mas …Never Again.