Very busy days at work. March 24th was the anniversary of the latest coup d'etat in 1976. The dictatorship that was established is the reason why today hidden detention centers are open as museums and why hundreds of thousands of people live in poverty with friends and family disappeared. The dictatorship made the blooming industry of Argentina hit rock bottom. The dictatorship of the 70's is actually partly the reason why my life is the way it is here in Argentina. What a curious thought...
On Saturday the 24th the memory centers in Cordoba (meaning former detention centers, Campo de La Ribera being one of three) organized a concert of Leon Gieco, a long time superstar in Argentina. We had 15 000 people present that day. Later in the evening a peaceful march was organized in the center. Without any official number to present, the people participating in the march filled the lenght of 8 blocks of the avenue. Thousands.
On Monday in the tribunal of Cordoba 3 ex police officers got condemned for crimes committed during the dictatorship. More specifically what happened was that 3 politically active students were kidnapped in 1976. They were forced into a car (one was shot in the back already then). They were driven to a remote location where the police killed these people with 172 bullets in total. The defence alleged that these students had driven to a check post where they had started shooting at the police, which means that the 172 bullets were shot in self defence. The court sentenced these police officers for life in prison, in Argentina equaling apparently around 20 years. It was beautiful. People were hugging eachother, laghing, crying, jumping together. It was a day of justice.
For the ones interested, what they're doing here with accusing people over 30 years later is actually quite clever, look it up. Plus there's no international tribunal, it's all Argentinian work.
On Thursday a group of students came to Campo de La Ribera for a volunteer day. Wall painting, cleaning, planting flowers, stamping books... We had choripanes for lunch and in the afternoon a discussion and a tour. In the evening I was given a very appreciated class on how to barbecue the Argentinian way. Five kinds of meat, salads, potatoes, bread, eggplants, drinks and later on coctails with condensed milk, fruits... All this for 7 euros per person! And now I have some tricks up my sleeve.
So this was my week. The next days I'll be in Chile and Mendoza in western Argentina. I have to renew my visa which makes a perfect excuse. Hectic but fun days.