Sunday, June 16, 2024

ARGENTINA | 24-11-2023 16:53

Protesters in Buenos Aires admonish incoming government’s ‘denialism’

Activists join weekly Madres de Plaza de Mayo march to admonish Javier Milei and Victoria Villarruel over their “denialism” of state terrorism during 1976-1983 military dictatorship.

Hundreds of activists gathered in Buenos Aires on Thursday to denounce president-elect Javier Milei and vice-president-elect Victoria Villarruel's views on the dictatorship-era disappearances of tens of thousands of people.

Human rights groups are cautiously awaiting the inauguration next month of Milei, who has questioned the official toll of up to 30,000 disappearances recorded during the country's 1976-83 military dictatorship.

The protesters joined the Madres de Plaza de Mayo, who march every Thursday in front of the Casa Rosada presidential offices.

Carmen Ramiro, 89, who still doesn't know the whereabouts or fate of her husband and eldest son, warned of the "denialism of the future government that we are going to have."

Argentina's dictatorship was one of the most brutal of the slew of military regimes that sowed terror in Latin America between the 1960s and 1980s.

Those accused of being political dissidents were killed or disappeared, some tossed out of planes into the Río de la Plata during the military's campaign of state terror against guerrilla groups, left-wing activists and sympathisers.

More than 1,000 people have been sentenced for crimes against humanity since 2006 in 330 trials, when prosecutions of figures in the dictatorship resumed after a decade of controversial amnesties. Dozens of trials are still in progress.

Milei has framed the era as a "war" where "excesses" were committed. Critics have condemned the “denialism” put forward

"There was a genocide. It was not a war," said Ramiro. "Many mothers have already died without knowing what happened to their children. I don't know what happened to mine either. I will be marching until my life is over."

Those rallying on Thursday also remembered late former Madres de Plaza de Mayo president Hebe de Bonafini, who died one year ago. Photos of the activist were placed around the square, where her ashes were scattered.

“The Madres come every Thursday, but today is a very special day, as it is one year since the death of Hebe de Bonafini. We have also come because of the future government’s denialism. It's like a sign of protest to defend our beloved 30,000 disappeared,” said Ramiro.



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