2015-03-18

What Remembrance Day means to Argentina

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You may wonder why Argentina chooses to remember the date of the beginning of the dictatorship, rather than celebrating the end. It is an event that focuses on educating the young, highlighting what it means to have a democratic system in place and how nobody in the country should ever have to live without basic human rights as occurred that day when the democracy was lost hoping that with this understanding no such violence will ever reoccur, keeping Argentina's future bright.

The Día de la memoria, verdad y justicia falls on the 24th of March every year in Argentina to remember those 30 000 people who were tortured, kidnapped and disappeared during 'The Dirty War', which spanned 8 years. It was this exact date in 1976 when Argentina's democratic government was overthrown by the powers of a civil military dictatorship. The weight of this important date is felt across the entire country as thousands of communities gather in peaceful marches to remember the painful, bloody past to ask for justice for their missing loved ones.

The dictatorship named itself the 'National Reorganisation Process', which sounded shockingly formal, just and correct. As part of their plan to exterminate the military government (who, they believed, undermined human rights) and culturally change Argentinian people, tens of thousands of people were arrested, tortured, abducted, murdered or forced into exile. Most of this violence took place in clandestine detention centres throughout the country.

Among the missing, there is a number of children who were adopted illegally.There is an organisation called Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo, which has been dedicated to locating the kidnapped children, and has already found more than 110. On Remembrance Day, the Plaza Del Mayo in Capital Federal, Buenos Aires turns into an annual meeting place for the organisation.

The marches on this day bring together people from all walks of life, all ages, and all parts of the country. Social organisations (like Voluntario Global), political groups, human rights supporters and friends and families of those who were disappeared come together to remember the atrocities that took place and to fight for justice, human rights, and the truth.

Further reading:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-22004491

http://www.ccdtye-caba.com.ar/home.html

http://www.abuelas.org.ar

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VOLUNTARIO GLOBAL

Voluntario Global helps local communities by being available to discuss anything that local organizations need, and offering ideas for further change and development.
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Location: General Pacheco. Buenos Aires. Argentina
Email: jfranco@voluntarioglobal.org

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