Each year during March the Argentine people hold a Día de la Memoria in remembrance to commemorate the victims of the military dictatorship, Proceso de Reorganización Nacional. It is held on 24 March
, the anniversary of the coup d’état
that brought the military junta to power.On that day, a military junta overthrew a democratically elected government. Over the next 8 years, up to 30,000 ‘dissidents’ were disappeared.
The dictatorship systematically terrorized its citizenry on ideological grounds. The government closed congress, banned political parties, abolished freedom of speech and freedom of press.In what was claimed to be a war against terrorist and communist groups, the military government persecuted, tortured, and killed citizens who opposed or questioned the dictatorship, expressed leftist views, or simply appeared in the address books of people considered subversive.
In Buenos Aires I went to the city center with thousands of others to watch concerts, speeches, and other events commemorating it. While I learned a lot about the dirty war in my classes at the University of Belgrano what I witnessed that night was a people proud of their country, having defeated that military dictatorship.