“Let’s plant collective memory” A annual memorial gathering tradition changed during COVID - BA/ARG
“That man was my abductor” Aixa Bona was looking at the crimes against humanity trial, live on Youtube, against the genocides who tortured, killed and disappeared people during the military government from 1976 to 1982 that occurred in Argentina. The man, Federal Roberto Álvarez, was testifying as a witness and was asked if he ever transported prisoners from one of the detention centers to another. He denied it. When Aixa saw him, she recognized him immediately and when she heard his voice she called her lawyer. His testimony was eased from the trial and a few days later he was detained.
Before Covid, the trials occurred in courtrooms with a few people present. Some were in bigger courtrooms and some in smaller, but, there is no dent that the virtualization of the trials due to covid, made things like this become possible. What were the chances that Aixa would have been able to go to the courthouse that same day if there was no Covid-19 complicating the justice system? Looking on the bright side, thanks to this lockdown, and information much more available online, we have found one more of the responsible for the torture and the systematic desaparition for people. (https://youtu.be/DCCwQQdCtLg)
During those years, at least 30.000 people were kidnapped and disappeared by the military government and helped by civic institutions and commercial companies. The 24th of March is our National Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice. Since 1967, the 24th of march we commemorate all of our lost people. Today, we still ask for memory, truth and justice for all of our 30.000.
This year, due to covid, the motto was “Let’s plant collective memory”, so instead of the usual protest rally, we were all invited to stay home and plant a tree, a plant, or even seeds.
In Argentina, 2020 was not only the year of the pandemic, but towards the end, there were two highlights: the death or Diego Maradona, Argentina’s futbol God, who was waked at the government house, and the legalization of the abortion, wich called people to the streets. After those two episodes, the amount of cases increased exponentially. The 24th of march is another day that calls for people to go out to the streets and support the cause.
Did we learn? Are social media and hashtags enough for Argentine people to show support for their causes?
I’m Marcela Baigros, from Argentina. I’ve studied Communication Sciences and have a postgraduate course on NGO Management. I have funded in 2103 an NGO “Cero to the Right” and we work mainly on Communications from the Human Rights perspective, to eliminate stigma and prejudice.