Thursday, March 02, 2006

Mothers of the Disappeared

From the Economist:

One of Argentina’s best-known human rights groups, the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo Association, held its last 24-hour “march of resistance” in the main square in January. The group staged its first march in 1977, during the reign of Argentina’s military government, to demand the return of loved ones “disappeared” by the junta and the punishment of those responsible. Thankfully the impetus for the march has all but disappeared: not only did the military government end in 1983, but Néstor Kirchner, Argentina’s president, has made the commemoration and punishment of past human-rights abuses a priority. “We no longer have an enemy in the presidential palace,” Hebe Bonafini, one of the most prominent Mothers, declared. “We are old and the enemy is not there. Why continue?”

The decision to end the annual march does not mean that the city's main square will be empty. A rival group, La Línea Fundadora, has said it will continue to march once a year. And even Ms Bonafini's group will remain active: the Mothers will rally in the Plaza de Mayo each Thursday, to demand the redistribution of Argentina’s wealth.


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