Thursday, March 26, 2009

Día de la Memoria por la Verdad y la Justicia

Tuesday was a feriado in Argentina for El Dia de la Memoria por la Verdad y la Justicia, a controversial holiday that only started in 2006. The holiday is in memory of the La Guerra Sucia, or Dirty War, when the military dictatorship tortured and killed thousands of Argentines from 1976 - 1983. The majority of Argentines targeted by the military was activists and students - a lot in the range of 16 - 22. A couple of weeks ago, we watched an informative film about the experience; La Noche de Los Lapices made in 1986 chronicles the happenings of 10 students that were kidnapped by the military in Buenos Aires. The scariest part was seeing how young the students were. The controversy surrounding this holiday stems from the fact that there is little awareness in Argentina about what really happened (note that this holiday only started 3 years ago). La Guerra Sucia is not taught in all schools and some Argentines simply do not believe what happened. Furthermore, some think that the fighting was matched on the other side with students and activists killing military members as well.

Monday, there is a march in La Plata, which I attended with my friend, Jessie. She works for a non-profit, La Asamblea Permanente por los Derechos Humanos (APDH), promoting human rights and awareness. APDH organizes truth trials surrounding La Guerra Sucia trying to bring military leaders to justice and find out what happened to the missing people.

start of the march, Plaza San Martinfliers of missing people were strung around the plazaAPDH volunteers

Vandalism and graffiti were a big part of the march...

house of a known military leader

Video from outside of the court house. Lots of vandalism took place here:

Tuesday, I enjoyed my holiday as a typical relaxing weekend day - did some yoga, went for a run, saw friends. I met Becca in the bosque for some mate in the afternoon. There were tons of people enjoying the gorgeous day there. We were certainly not alone in bringing along mate. There was even a line to get a thermos re-fills at the kiosko.

no park experience is complete without the obligatory mate

That night, we went to a free concert (in honor of the memoria) at an abandoned train-station with some friends.
i think that the entire youth population of La Plata was in attendance

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