March 24 in the Argentinean Blogosphere

Last friday, march 24, marked 30 years since the beginning of the last military dictatorship in Argentina. There were plenty of reasons to remember this date, which stated the beginning of a political period marked by violations of human rights, the murdering of political opposition to the dictatorship, the use of the state apparatus to commit crimes, and the implementation of an economic policy that destroyed the country's productive infrastructure.

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The vast institutional gravity of what happened 30 years ago is not hard to express: for a long time, the Argentinean state became an organized machinery of law violation. That is, the one who had to guarantee the fulfillment of the norms, was openly dedicated to violate them and soon organized a complete apparatus of concealment. A good part of Argentine society at the time supported the coup and gave it a social foundation. But, after three decades, to remember this period is part of a political bet so that nothing like this could happen again. Part of this includes not to reduce everything to “two sides,” as if we still were under a military vision of the world; not to replicate the theory of the both demons; not to lose sight of the economic motivations of the coup; not to forget the support (to the dictatorship) by a good part of the society, as well as the complicity of entrepreneurial organizations and of the Argentinean church. Nor to abandon the fight for the end of all legislation – such as amnesties, the Punto Final and the Obediencia Debida- that has allowed many violations of human rights to go without prosecution.

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In order to commemorate the 30 years, a massive concentration in Plaza de Mayo took place, attended by more than 100,000 people, according to the media. The journey was, for the first time, a national holiday in Argentina, a decision taken by Kirchner's government, which has provoked many criticism by several human rights organizations. This first year the holiday fell on a Friday, which, instead of encouraging meditation or discussion on the subject, many people took advantage of with a long weekend vacation. Furthermore, during the march some incidents took place, such as when the Madres y Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo – quite close to the government – rejected the terms of a long document that was being read which was quite harsh on Kirchner's government.

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But beyond the precise events of this 24 of March, a long series of blogs made reference to the subject. This text only intends to be a summary of what's been published which has been plenty and varied. For that reason, it will not open too much discussion over what has been written, to avoid further extension of this text which does not want to be an opinion column, but a listing of references. Each of you can reach any of the mentioned links, and leave your opinions in the respective blogs, since most of them allow comments. I clear this up because this it is a subject that can cause much discussion on recent Argentine history, and because the idea is not to start long discussions here, but to raise conversations in the different blogs mentioned. All this is independent of my position on the matter. Throughout the text, in addition, there will be some photos that I took in the march of Friday, and a brief video for you to see a little of the atmosphere of the Plaza de Mayo. The video quality is bad, but the idea is, simply, to illustrate what happened there, far from the scene where most of the television cameras were.

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You can add your feedback and links in the comments area.

In spanish

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At Blogsfera, Javier makes an interesting summary of some of the repercussions of what's been published in blogs on the subject of the 24 of March, with links to diverse positions; from those who condemned the coup to those who complained about many of the things that were said. At Argenautas, they show “gratefulness” to the dictatorship for “defending” us by means of torture and systematic murder. Martín Varsavsky affirms that “Nowadays Argentina still has many problems, but I'm glad to say that neither leftist terrorism nor the terrorism of state represent a threat for Argentina anymore”. In Hechos e interpretaciones a long recount of facts related to the dictatorship enumerates companies that collaborated with the regime, and critically remembers the governments of Raul Alfonsín, who created the so called “Ley de Obediencia Debida,” which granted indemnity to active military, and of Carlos Menem, who signed the amnesties. In Mavrakis and Valdes they criticize the interpretation the present government concerning the facts of 1976. Setubal wonders about the political uses of this date, and also makes a critical lecture about the role of Kirchner's government. Moebius focuses on how the communication boundaries were destroyed during those years. In Por la Libertad they indicate that “Why when they show pictures of the protagonists of the violence of those time do they choose so different frames and approaches? When one remembers the people in charge of the military government and its partisans in repression we're shown photos of them with severe gestures and wearing their military uniform … Why, when making reference to the members of the armed gangs that always hurt the country from the extreme left, are they always shown as nice, with pensive gestures or writing? Aren't there any pictures of this people holding guns in their hands or building a bomb? Funny, isn't it? At Tirate a la Pileta also chooses to reduce the problem to “two sides”. “But the coin has 2 faces… The terrorists, those that began with bombs and protests to overthrow the government of Isabel de Peron, and then the face of the military before, during, and after the coup.

In English

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At Geek Gaucho they remember the United States government approval to the coup, and its support to the argentine military. In Goodairs and Rachel in Argentina they make a brief summary of what happened this 24 of March. Moving to Argentina makes a brief historic summary. In Gloria Mundi Bob Row remembers the complicity by a good part of the catholic church in the coup. Posthegemony analyzes the first official notices by the military government. Balance News Blog tells how the argentine government decided to open the secret files that the Armed Forces and secret services kept on the period of 1976-83.

More resources

In Technorati you can see a list of posts published in blogs on the subject of the coup d'etat of 1976.

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