Madres de Mayo still seek justice

For the last 32 years the Madres de Mayo have held a weekly vigil in Buenos Aires.

They are the mothers of the estimated 30,000 people disappeared or killed during Argentina's Dirty War, a military dictatorship  from 1976 to 1983.

I arrived at the Plaza de Mayo on last Thursday at 3:15 p.m. when the madres started a quiet protest. Most of the women are in their 70s and 80s now but they still seek justice for their children.

At first there were more tourists than madres. About four of the madres in their white scarves were sitting on a park bench.

I overheard a young American teen say, "They're just a bunch of old ladies talking."

But he was wrong. About a dozen more madres showed up and then they held up a banner and peacefully marched around the plaza before Argentina's Pink House, the presidential palace.

One of the mothers, Eva Petrini, spoke before a crowd of about 50 supporters, after their small protest.

"Those supporters who know us know it is not easy to follow the mothers," Petrini said.  "We are not tranquil at all after all these years. It is the opposite. The more years pass the less time we have."

The democratic government of former president Nestor Kirchner and the actual president his wife Cristina Kirchner have done more than past governments to investigate the disappeared, supporters said.

But these women cannot rest until they know exactly what happened to their children.

"Nobody has been made responsible. As long as we are alive, we will seek justice against those who killed them," said one of the mothers, Mercedes Mirondo.

Her daughter Alicia disappeared when she was 31 years old.

"We don't want the death penalty. They are the killers not us," she said.

Hopefully these women will see justice before it is too late.

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