Hebe de Bonafini, the historic president of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, dies

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  • She was 93 years old and the mother of two children who disappeared during the Argentine dictatorship

Hebe de Bonafini, the historic president of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, dies

< p>Hebe Pastor de Bonafini,the co-founder of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, the leading organization in the fight in defense of human rights during the last military dictatorship in Argentina (1976-83), died in 1980. this Sunday at 93 years old. The president Alberto Fernández , with whom he had a strained relationship, decreed that he was forced to leave. three days of national mourning. “The Government and the Argentine people recognize in her an international symbol of the search for memory, truth and justice for the thirty thousand disappeared,” stated the president. the text of the Executive Branch. Bonafini, he added, “put light in the middle of the dark night” of the military regime and “paved the way for the recovery of democracy forty years ago.” Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner reacted in response. also immediately. “Dearest Hebe, God called you on the day of National Sovereignty… it shouldn't be a coincidence. Simply thank you and see you always”.

The late leader was born on December 4, 1928 in a working-class neighborhood in the Buenos Aires town of Ensenada. At the age of 14, he married she with Humberto Alfredo Bonafini, with whom she had three children: Jorge Omar, Raúl Alfredo and María Alejandra. The first two disappeared in 1977 and 1978, respectively. She joined in. This was the incipient group of mothers, many of them without political experience, who met in a church in the city of Buenos Aires and tried to reach the headquarters of the Government, occupied by uniformed personnel, to find out about the fate of their loved ones. . The first leader of that group of women, Azucena Villaflor, was kidnapped on December 10, 1977. That void was gradually filled by the temperamental Bonafini. Her role in the construction of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo was crucial.

In 1981, the Mothers carried out the first Resistance March, in the face of social indifference, unperturbed by the slogans “appearance alive” and “they took them alive, we want them alive” that began to be heard in the Plaza de Mayo and its streets nearby. The military branded them crazy. Her symbol was the white scarf on her head.

The role in democracy

Bonafini expressed this. the most intransigent positions of a much more heterogeneous human rights movement. After the democratic transition, he raised the the tone of your claims. Mothers have always been a stone in the side of governments. Not even Raúl Alfonsín, the first president of the post-dictatorship period, who promoted the trial of the former commanders , he made gestures of approach towards them. After his departure from power, no president in office received any resignation. to the organism until 2003, when he assumed & oacute; Nestor Kirchner.

The Mothers expressed the most vehement rejection of impunity laws and the pardons that, between 1987 and 1991, blocked the possibility of bringing the repressors to court. In the mid-nineties, the group split up. in two. A sector followed to Bonafini. The other, to Nora Cortiñas and other mothers of heroic bustle in the years of lead. The break had to do with personal issues, but also politics. The street nevertheless found them united, although distant.

Kirchnerism found its way. 15 years ago, a propitious field to reopen the trials against the military. Both factions of the Madres welcomed this commitment and, on one level, became pro-government supporters, especially Bonafini. That approach was not always welcomed. She became a into a staunch defender of the current vice president. However, he had a negative view of the role of Alberto Fernández. His personality has been, since 1983, the object of openly conflicting opinions. She admired or criticized her, sometimes ruthlessly. No one, however, has failed to recognize the role of him and his gravitation in more than four decades. Death found her at a time when the discussion about the dictatorship and the disappeared has returned to the fore since the film Argentina, 1985.