Social organizations condemn legal persecution of Mothers of Plaza de Mayo

Authorities had scheduled an audit of the archives of the association of Mothers of Plaza de Mayo on April 15. The organization claimed that this was a politically motivated attempt to illegally confiscate these historic archives that chronicle the brutalities of the Argentine dictatorship

April 19, 2019 by Peoples Dispatch
"The people came to defend what belongs to them" said Hebe de Bonafini. Photo: Bernardino Avila

On April 15, hundreds of social and human rights activists gathered at the headquarters of the association of Mothers of Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires to prevent the scrutiny of the historic archive of the organization that documents facts regarding the Argentine genocide and its military and civil culprits.

Judicial authorities had scheduled an inventory of the assets of the organization, as part of an investigation into bankruptcy proceedings, for April 15 at 11 am. Activists began to gather outside the headquarters the night before to block access to the building. After the mobilization, they learned that the authorities had decided not to carry out the measure on that day.

Hebe de Bonafini, one of the founders of the association, addressed the people and thanked them for their support. “The people came to defend what belongs to them,” she said.

“This morning, people came to embrace and defend the Mothers of Plaza De Mayo and their historic archive, before a new outpost of the government and its judicial officers. Even if they try, they will not be able to erase the memory of the people,” tweeted the association.

Last week, within the framework of the bankruptcy case of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, judge Fernando Javier Perillo ordered the government officials to make an inventory of assets of the organization in order to settle economic debts.

However, the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo claimed in a statement that the authorities were attempting to carry out an audit with the real motive of illegally confiscating the historic archive of the organization. “The operation lacks legal basis and is being done for political purposes. There is no factual or legal reason. It has nothing to do with the defense of legality and rule of law,” the statement said.

“The historic archive of the Mothers of Plaza De Mayo belongs to the people. Almost 42 years of struggle and resistance to build collective memory, an echo of conscience, a triumph of memory, is what the government wants to appropriate,” said the Mothers in another tweet.

The association of Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, an Argentine human rights movement, was formed in 1977, a year after the military coup d’etat which overthrew the constitutional government of Isabel Martinez de Peron and installed a civic-military dictatorship led by General Jorge Rafael Videla. The association was created by the mothers and family members of people who were disappeared during the dictatorship. They would march weekly to demand to know the truth about their loved ones. They have been at the forefront of the continued struggle for justice and truth. Over 30,000 people were detained and disappeared during the seven years of dictatorship.