BUENOS AIRES – Tens of thousands of people filled the main square of the Argentine capital on Friday to mark the 41st anniversary of the military coup that installed a junta blamed for 30,000 deaths.
Though events took place across the city, the focus was on the Plaza de Mayo in central Buenos Aires, just in front of the presidential palace.
Participants waved banners and held up posters with photographs of people who were “disappeared” by the 1976-1983 regime.
Human rights activists read aloud from a manifesto demanding “trial and punishment” for all of the military and civilian personnel responsible for the crimes committed by the junta, which ranged from kidnapping, torture, and murder to the theft of babies born to jailed dissidents.
A substantial part of the document was devoted to criticism of conservative President Mauricio Macri, the son of a business mogul who prospered under military rule.
The manifesto accused the current administration of sabotaging efforts to bring “dirty war” offenders to justice and of pursuing economic policies that hurt workers and the poor.
Both poverty and unemployment have risen since Macri took office, while inflation last year topped 40 percent.
“As in every year, we are here making a stand for memory, truth and justice. This year is very special, because this government is very much obstructing us,” Fabiana Almeida, whose sister disappeared under the junta, told EFE.
Rights advocates say the Macri administration has sought to minimize the crimes of the military government.