Every Thursday afternoon at 3:30 pm near Plaza de Mayo, the mothers and grandmothers of people who disappeared during 1976-1982 in the Dirty War gather, they have been doing so since 1977. The guidebook says they gather in front of the Casa Rosada but we saw these protesters at the start of Av. de Mayo a little later than 3:30 on a Thursday afternoon.
Tens of thousands are estimated to have gone missing during the Dirty Way, mostly young people killed for their political beliefs. The Dirty War ended at the collapse of the military government in 1982 after their defeat in the Islas Malvinas (Falkland Island) War. The mothers continue to march, to bring those responsible to justice, to find out the fate of their children.
If you want to know more about this organization, you can stop by the Asociacion Madres de Plaza de Mayo at Plaza Congreso (Hipolito Yrigoyen 1584 at Ceballos)
Here, at Third World countries, protests are a frequent way to express our disappointment with the government; these last years, after the end of the Latin American dictatorships, a lot of protests have happend, and Argentina has not been the exception.
The picture shows the "carpa blanca" (white tent) that the school teachers had installed in front of Congress, asking for best salaries; I took the picture in 1997.
Aquí, en los países del Tercer Mundo, las protestas son una manera frecuente de expresar nuestro desacuerdo con el gobierno; estos últimos años, después del fin de las dictaduras latinoamericanas, muchas protestas se han sucedido, y Argentina no fue la excepción.
La foto muestra la "Carpa blanca" que los maestros habían instalado frente al Congreso, en reclamo por salarios dignos: tomé la foto en 1997.
During the 1940s, while the generals ran the government, Colonel Juan Domingo Peron served as a minister of labor in a junta government. Peron was extremely popular even though he was an authoritarian ruler. He was a populist, a nationalist and a fascist sympathizer. His followers formed the Peronist Party. Peron appealed to the working class with higher wages, pensions, stronger unions and other benefits. He won the loyalty of the soldiers by increasing the military budget. His charm and appeal to Argentina's national pride helped him remain popular. He and his second wife, Eva, a former film and radio star, became the real heroes. Eva Duarte de Peron (Evita) was a powerful leader and ally for her husband. She was worshipped by the working class and poor. She obtained the right to vote for women and founded women's political organizations. Evita supported the construction of schools, hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. She had millions of shoes, sewing machines, and other household goods distributed to the poor. The masses held huge demonstrations of support and affection for her. She assisted Peron in his rise to power. Peron's popularity dropped rapidly following her early death in 1952 from cancer.
Following Peron's death his third wife, Isabel, became Latin America's first woman president. She had no experience in government. The country was torn by extreme inflation (300 percent) and terrorism. Guerrilla groups bombed, kidnapped and carried out executions, disrupting the country. In 1976 military leaders arrested Isabel Peron and took control of the government.
Then, they dissolved the Congress, outlawed political parties, banned worker strikes ,and eliminated free press. The military then focused its attentions on the dissidents and guerrilla groups. In the late 1970s, the military began a "dirty war." The leaders were able to destroy the power of their enemies with a violent campaign of kidnapping and killing. It's estimated that 9,000 to 30,000 people disappeared then, most of them never being found. Their Mothers started gathering on Plaza de Mayo hoping to find out where their sons were. This is how the walks or marches around the Plaza originated. In order to be identified and recognized, the Mothers began to use a white handkerchief around the head that eventually turned into their symbol. They began as a small group that grew up to being 300 to 400 Mothers and little by little they were joined by fathers, brothers, wives, children and grandsons of the disappeared.
The Mothers of Plaza of Mayo continue with their marches every Thursday around the Plaza de Mayo.
As political center, Buenos Aires is also a meeting point for all kind of people that want to show their unhappiness about the governement policies (of the past and of today) ...protest actions are in fact quite often and you will probably notice at least one during your stay like I did...
30 years ago was the "coup d'etat" agains the democratic argentinian government....i was so lucky to see and behold the peacefull demonstration around the capital avenues... it was a great event ...Buenos aires inhabitants get out to the streets to shout peace and freedom as they ever did before
A part of the daily life in Buenos Aires. Protest and strikes
During my stay, for a couple of days in BsAs there was almost everyday a protest against whatever you can imagine.
Most favorite places are Plaza Mayo and Plaza El Congreso, centers of the gouvernment
The worst and most sensitive strikes for business and touristic involved people are the actions of the National Airolines.
But btw in general, those strikes are well organised and controlled by the federal police
so it is not that disturbing and sometimes a show like we experience it in Europe
Expression of protest can reach the extreme in BA. The more innocent graffiti are popular "around the world" and BA is no exception. The sculptural ensemble in front of the Senate testifies to it - how unfortunate, such a beautiful piece of art to be desecrated in that ugly fashion. Another matter is the amount of red paint splattered on monuments to "heroes" representing the people's blood they have let. Examples immediately coming to mind are Roca's statue, just off the Plaza de Mayo and most significantly, Christopher Columbus on the sea side of the Casa Rosada. Colon was a controversial figure even during his lifetime, having a hiccup or two during his reign in the West Indies. Generally speaking though, he is usually portrayed as a man of great importance to the development of the world. My environment does not include any indigenous people or descendents of slaves, so I am not totally "balanced".
piqueteros? that's how we call the people who protest on the streets.
List of the most common places where there are protest:
- Plaza de Mayo - The historical square, protest are mainly located in this square because "la casa rosada" (where the presidents works) is in front of it.
- El congreso (the congress) The building is located on Ave. Rivadavia and Ave. Entre Rios
- The work ministry - the building is located on Ave. L. N. Alem between Tucaman st. and Viamonte St.
So avoid going to those places if you hear on the news or someone says that there are "piqueteros" or protest on those places
Here in front of the congress building there are always people and sometimes squatters protesting against the corupt government that is running the country . In my next couple of pictures you will see some protesters with signs and writtings against the government. December 19 2001 the People of Argentina went out into the streets and revolted against the De la Rua and his corupted administration. In a matter of two weeks Argentina went through four presidents. From the steps of this congress building I witness the masses breaking into this building and looting and burning everything inside. It was a very impressive thing to eyewitness. The peso devaluated and this once rich country fell into poverty. Hopefully this country will get back on its feet and once again will be the country that it was once...
This wonderful country was raped and pillaged by the politicians for decades and at last the argentines have woken up to it..
I admire the current view of the politics by the general populace.. here on avenida 9 julio, expressed not so elegantly
along the median of avenida 9 de julio, many of the homeless of buenos aires have taken up residence and graffiti expresses their anger.. going from a first world country to a third world country quite quickly...
The title up above is what is written on the pedalstone of that statue. This is in front of the government building in Buenos Aires. I happened to be at the right sopt when I took this picture. It seems that the Argentine People have gone through so many corupt governments and presidents that they are jsut tired. When I was there the first time in December of 2001 and January 2002 they went through 4 presidents in two weeks. Its a shame because of all this coruption at one time the richest country in South America is rapidly falling into a country where 50% of the people are going into rapid poverty... I can defenitly say that I fell in love with this country and I hope it picks up and stand tall like it has always been the proud country that it is...
Where ever theres a government building there is always a person protesting against the government. These here are squatters protesting against the government. I give alot of credit to these folks that sleep here and have to put up with the elements just to protest against something that they believe in...
Graffiti painted on Boca quarter ....Aristobulo del Valle street ...that cross Almirante Brown avenue ....i translate...."get out Bush from Argentina, youngers standstill "