The truth about what happened in Trelew almost 40 years ago clearly shows who were Argentina’s real enemies. After shooting down in cold blood suspected left-wing guerrillas at a maximum security prison, the Argentinian navy covered up the incident by stating that the victims had tried to escape. New revelations, however, have shown a very different story.
The horrific events that happened in the southern Argentinian city of Trelew not only reveal the cowardice of the navy, they bring relief to many that these men in brass that once dominated the country are no longer in power.
While it is a good and healthy matter that Argentina is carrying out a long and painful historic psychoanalysis of its grim past, the outlandish events of the so-called dirty war era (1976-83) emphasize the importance of bringing to justice and putting behind bars those who committed crimes against humanity, be it the “security” forces, left-wing or paramilitary groups.
Until justice has spoken and until we know the whole truth, the dirty war will continue to live inside every Argentinian.
Many generations are going to have to pass before the wounds heal from that incomprehensible era. Being patriotic in Argentina doesn’t mean succumbing to silence in the face of the facts. It challenges us to speak out and bring to light what happened. We owe it to future generations of Argentinians and Latin Americans.
I was conscripted in the army in 1977-1978. I never killed anyone even though I was a very tiny part of a state that terrorized its people. Like many who lived during that period, the experience changed my life for good. Although 20 years have passed, I can still hear the muffled cries of the victims of that war. There are also those who did not disappear, like us, who continue to suffer for those that are no longer with us.
But it is misguiding to believe that people “disappeared” during the dirty war. If you think of it carefully, they’re still inside of us demanding justice.