Argentina’s most high-profile human rights group, the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, has been marking the 30th anniversary of a campaign to locate missing political dissidents. In a candle-let vigil last night, they crowded into the square in Buenes Aires from which the group gets its name.
The movement began here with a handful of women demanding information about the whereabouts of their sons and daughters who’d been arrested by the military dictatorship. It came at a time when few defied the regime. One women taking part said: “Throughout these thirty years we have achieved much and been disappointed but we are like the Phoenix in that we are reborn with more strength because we are not alone like in the beginning.”
During its reign from 1976 to 1983 the military junta waged a so-called “dirty war” against its opponents. Human rights groups say up to 30,000 may have been killed. Many of its victims remain unaccounted for. The Mothers’ group has continued despite splits and has widened its activites to include helping the poor.