Mother´s of Plaza del Mayo

13 07 2008

Posted by: Laura      

Travel Date: 5.1.08

Twenty four elderly women formed line in Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Each woman wore a white handkerchief embroidered in blue with her child´s name and birthday on the back. A banner was passed down the line. “Vamos,” (Let´s go) said the woman at the end, and the group began to slowly walk around the main statue of the plaza.

These women began marching in 1977. In Argentina during the the oppressive military government of the 1970´s, people began dissappearing. Anyone believed to be associated with subversive organizations was at risk. Nine thousand deaths have been confirmed, but most human rights organizations believe the number is closer to 30,000. The victims were held in concentration camps that didn´t officially exist where they were tortured and murdered. This continued until 1983, when Argentina returned to democracy.

The mothers of the dissappeared meet every Thursday at 3:30pm to march around the plaza asking the government to return their missing children. They have formed an official organization which seeks justice for violent actions of the government.

As they marched, some of the mothers had pictures of their sons and daughters. Winessing this event was one of the more stirring experiences of our trip. We showed up to the Plaza on Argentinian Labor Day. Since it was a national holiday, I wondered if they would still walk, then quickly realized that they had been doing this for thirty years during life threatening conditions, and would probably not stop because of a holiday. As soon as the mothers lined up, the the other tourists in the park began snapping pictures. When traveling, we generally ask people before taking pictures. Both Chris and I felt a little uncomfortable just taking pictures, but we reasoned that part of the reason these women continue to march today is to remind the public of the events that happened, so we slyly snapped some pictures.

As they finished their walk, the crowd that had gathered, stopped to clap for these women who have peacefully and persistently sought justice for their family members.

Click here for Mother’s of Plaza del Mayo Pictures***



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