The Silent Mothers Of Argentina

MOTHER NEW

 

The warm evening air fills with the sound of an approaching drumbeat, the streets of Buenos Aires once again the scene of a protest. This time the marchers are demonstrating for the rights of doctors and nurses in the city, but they are at least the second group of activists we have seen today.

Earlier we had observed the famous Madres De Mayo baring their silent vigil outside of the city’s parliamentary buildings. Every week, for over three decades, the women have marched for the children who were “disappeared” during Argentina’s Dirty War.

These women serve as a poignant visual reminder of the atrocities committed by the military in the country between 1976 and 1983, their white headscarves symbolic of the blankets of babies who were lost to their parents so many years ago. The civilian government commission admits that around 11,000 children have been unaccounted for, but unofficial figures put the number at close to 30,000.

The question of revealing the identities of those who had been taken is complex. For some, discovering who they are and finding out that their families are not their families of birth is a traumatic experience, but it is for the access to this truth that the women continue to campaign.

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