“Where is my brother Santi…?”, The question, in the tone of a lament made into a song by Germán Maldonado, sounds from the loudspeakers announcing an emotional day: on the former Esma’s property, in front of the Our Children House, La Vida y La Esperanza, the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo Línea Fundadora pay tribute to their daughters and sons, on the International Day of Detained and Disappeared Persons
In a day where one feels “the joy of being able to continue the fight”, as they say; after months of sanitary isolation; the place is revitalized. The purpose of the meeting is to rename one of the internal streets of the Site of Memory –which still keep their military names-, with the slogan: “There are 30,000”. Also, vindicate “the political militancy of their children” as “a legacy for the young generations,” explains Lita Boitano, at the beginning of the act, together with Taty Almeida.
“This is a meeting with dear people who have memory”, Taty announces, before thanking the support of those who had met there “for the first time in a long time.” Along with the Mothers, there are representatives of Sons, Grandmothers, Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared, and survivors of the concentration camps of State terrorism. Taty thanked the Secretary for Human Rights, Horacio Pietragalla; the Minister of Education, Nicolás Trotta; to Victoria Montenegro and Alejandro Amor – candidates of the Frente de Todos -, to the trade unionists who are here and to those who sent their support ”. Hugo Yasky and Sergio Palazzo were present. That of the CGT co-secretary Héctor Daer was one of the adhesions.
It was 15 o’clock, and under a sun that was already announcing spring, when the dialogue between Taty and Lita began, along with Fátima Cabrera, a “survivor” who today coordinates the School of Popular Music of the Our Children House. In virtual form, other Mothers were connected to the day that was broadcast on the YouTube channel of the Casa Nuestro Hijos: Enriqueta Maroni, Hayde Gastelu, Vera Jarach, Nora Cortiñas, Carmen Lareu, Sara Russ and Clara Weinstein.
The School of Music turns ten years old, and that was another reason to celebrate: “that we are here, despite the canes and wheelchairs, ‘the crazy women’ are still standing, we are here”, described Taty. And the first applause of the afternoon was heard.
The day began at noon with the creation of a large external mural, and an open radio. Adela Antokoletz – Daniel’s sister, kidnapped in 1976 – explained the origin of the commemorative date there. The organization of associations of Relatives of Latin America -FEDEFAM-, instituted it “in homage to Marta Vásquez” recalls. Marta Vásquez was president of Madres Línea Fundadora, and had an active militancy due to the incorporation of the crime of forced disappearance into international agreements. That FEDEFAM convention in his memory “was so powerful that organizations such as the OAS and the UN took it” and made it universal. Adela affirms: “it is a contribution to the strengthening of the world conscience about the crime against humanity that means the practice of the forced disappearance of persons”.
Today, in many parts of the world the date is commemorated. And in Argentina, it has particular characteristics. “Renaming this street with the slogan ‘They are 30,000’ is a tribute, but it also seeks to counteract the denial that unfortunately continues to exist in our society,” says Fátima Cabrera. The plan indicates that this will be the first change that the streets of the property will receive, as part of a proposal that will modify all the names, in the medium term.
“During the macrismo, those who governed us, descended from many of the names that we still see in these streets,” said Horacio Pietragalla, “and for that plot of royal power, the memory of the 30,000 was not on the agenda.” In the battle of the senses on which the everyday is built, “rescuing and filling ourselves with the mystique of our 30,000 is part of the task,” later Pietragalla emphasized, invited by the Mothers to the conversation that interspersed music and videos, with precise words, and convictions. sustained. “This is what can lead us to a more just, supportive and sovereign country” emphasized at the end of his speech, the Secretary of Human Rights of the Nation.
Grandma Buscaita Roa, took the microphone and agreed: “At some point better times will come, you have to work for that, all the time,” he said. Her white scarf gleamed crowning her petite figure. The music played again when the mid-afternoon called to discover the plaque that will indicate from now on, the new designation of the street that passes in front of the Our Children House.
Until today he referred to the sailor Hipólito Bouchard, French by origin, nationalized Argentine. Now it is called: “There are 30,000”. This is indicated by the plaque discovered by Taty Almeyda, along with Pietragalla, Nicolás Trotta, Hugo Yasky, Sergio Palazzo, Fátima Cabrera and Mabel Careaga, daughter of Esther Ballestrino de Carega, one of the Mothers arrested and disappeared in the Church of the Holy Cross. The beginning of the closing was in charge of Ignacio Copani: “I haven’t played for 18 months,” the musician explained, “and it seemed like a very good opportunity to return, to do so while accompanying this event, of hope and memory.”
Memory, truth and justice
“The marches of March 24 are missed” was heard more than once, among Human Rights activists, at this event. “There have already been two years where we could not go,” reinforces Charly Pisoni, a reference for HIJOS, when he explains the joy of many to be at the former ESMA. “It is a special day because the date is installed throughout the world, and calls for new challenges” he defines. And he elaborates: “The process of memory, truth and justice has not been concluded, and we understand that forced disappearance continues in Argentina. We had to do acts and marches for the body of Santiago Maldonado to appear. And what happened to Facundo Astudillo Castro is still being investigated. The democratization of the Security Forces is pending. And for example, do not shoot, before giving the voice of stop -graphic-. This means looking to the future, and consolidating our democracy ”, he synthesizes before the consultation of Page 12.