Argentine Cause for Celebration Goes Beyond Revolutionary Bicentennial as Dirty War Hearings Continue

Photo montage of desaparecidos from the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo exhibit, part of the official bicentennial celebrations in Buenos Aires. (Photo: Kurt Fernández)

By Kurt Fernández

Assassins, sons of 1,000 bitches, we hate you.” —Hebe de Bonafini, Madres de la Plaza de Mayo

BUENOS AIRES – Argentines glowed with pride last week as they swarmed the streets of their grand capital to celebrate 200 years since their revolt against Spain.

Music, food, parades, visiting dignitaries, the reopening of the world class Teatro Colón opera house, and the inauguration of a gallery of Latin American heroes at the presidential palace were enjoyed by millions as the country shut down for a long four-day weekend.

Not far from the festivities, the country’s judicial system is quietly giving Argentines another source of national pride as alleged criminals of the guerra sucia, or Dirty War, are being held accountable for the ruthless kidnapping, torture, and death of up to 30,000 opponents of the 1976-83 military dictatorship.

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