Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo

The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (Spanish: Asociación Madres de Plaza de Mayo) is an association of Argentine mothers whose children "disappeared" under the military dictatorship of the 1970s.

The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo is a unique organization of Argentine women who have become human rights activists in order to achieve a common goal. For the past 20 years, the Mothers have united under two collective aims: first, that they were born again of their children and, second, that they have all become mothers to the victims of repression in Argentina.

The Mothers Association was formed after their children were arrested and then tortured and (frequently) killed. Their children were abducted by agents of the Argentine government during the years known as the Dirty War (19761983). The military now admits that over 9,000 of those kidnapped are still unaccounted for, but the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo say that the number is closer to 30,000. The numbers are hard to determine due to the secrecy surrounding the abductions. Three of the founders of the mothers of the Plaza de Mayo have also "disappeared".

In later years, the association has become more persistent, demanding answers from the government as to where their missing children were. In opposing the government's agenda, the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo began to see themselves as inheritors of their children's dreams and responsible for carrying forward their children's work. They do not doubt the fact that their children disappeared, and they are aware that the majority of them faced vicious torture and most of them were ultimately murdered. Nevertheless, they are refusing any reparations offered by the government as compensation for their children's absence. Many still maintain that they will not recognize the deaths until the government admits its fault and its connection to the dirty war and its systematic forced disappearances.

After the military gave up its authority to a civilian government (1983), the hopes of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo have continued to improve. They hope to make the most of the new government's efforts to help find answers to the kidnappings that took place in the of the dirty war years.

The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo (Spanish: Asociación Civil Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo) is a related organization with similar origins and aims.

On 10 December 2003, the Grandmothers' president, Estela Barnes de Carlotto, was awarded a UN Human Rights prize.

The name of the organizations comes from the Plaza 25 de Mayo in central Buenos Aires, where the bereaved mothers and grandmothers first gathered.

External links

es: Madres_de_Plaza_de_Mayo


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