Asociación Madres de Plaza de Mayo
I’ve written before about Argentina’s military dictatorship. Canada’s history is, to put it bluntly, boring. Canadians are always complaining about our tepid past, myself included. Since living in Argentina, a country that has experienced tumultous political upheaval, I’ve grown to appreciate banal Canadian politics, now more than ever.
Asociación Madres de Plaza de Mayo is an organization of mothers whose children disappeared during the military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983, also known as the Dirty War.
For over three decades, the Mothers have fought for the right to re-unite with their abducted children. In protests, they wear white head scarves embroidered with their children’s names to symbolize the blankets of the lost children.
The Mothers’ association was formed by women who met each other while trying to find their abducted sons and daughters, many of whom were presumably tortured and killed by agents of the Argentine government during the Dirty War.
The military has admitted that over 9,000 of those kidnapped are still unaccounted for, but the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo say that the number is closer to 30,000. Close to 500 were children born in concentration camps to missing pregnant women and raised by military families. Many of these children, who are now adults, have learned the truth about their identities and are being reunited with their biological parents. However, for many of the missing, the revelation is too painful, and they refuse any contact with their blood relatives.
Tragically three of the founders of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo have also disappeared. After the fall of the military regime, a civilian government commission estimated that the number of those missing was closer to 11,000.
Asociación Madres de Plaza de Mayo march every Thursday outside the Casa Rosada. Over the years they have evolved, not only to demand justice for the victims of the Dirty War but to support action for other social causes.
This afternoon I joined the march and snapped these photographs. The entire experience would have been more poignant if I wasn’t accompanied by a British woman who talked endlessly about her hangover. I don’t care!
For more photos click here.