Extraterritoriality, families of the disappeared, and a poem

João Paulo Monteiro jpmonteiro at SPAMmail.telepac.pt
Mon Dec 20 06:19:16 MST 1999

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky wrote:

> I fear
> :you are too harsh, comrade, saying the madres are killing their
> :children twice. But I say so from only the experience of a small
> :anecdote. You can correct me if this is really no basis for
> judgment.
> Yes, I know I am too harsh. I wanted to begin a quarrel, perhaps.
> However, though I would probably rephrase this, the idea is in my
> opinion a correct one. Anguish can be, and usually is, the basis
> for the political. The problem with this movement (which, I
> repeat, I support) is that it CANNOT raise itself to the level of
> the political.  (...) They reduce the whole political
> debate to a matter of reparation of individual life, and when
> they seldom speak publicly of the structural reasons why their
> relatives were murdered or kidnapped, they tend to blur the
> responsibilities of the militants whose lives were thus
> terminated in the state of affairs that led to the 1976 coup.

The thing about the madres - and I am not one to put to ridicule the
grief of a mother, for these are human mysteries too sublime for me to
even dare giving my opinion on concrete manifestations of it - is that
unfortunately they have contributed decisively to obliterate the fact
that there was a revolutionary war going on in Argentina during the late
60's and early 70's. A "dirty" war on the part of the state repressive
apparatus, but a war nonetheless. I am now reading a very interesting
account of it, up to the Videla coup, from the brazilian journalist
Marcelo Dias, and maybe later I will have some questions to put to
Nestor about it.

The prevalent oppinion on the West is that this was all an affair of
some students gathering in smoke filled rooms to study Marx and Sartre,
being kidnapped by the military, tortured and thrown into the sea.

This has produced two very unfortunate effects:

1) The obliteration of the state of explosive tension the class struggle
has reached in Argentina during that time, and of the valiant and
organized fight the argentinian proletariat has given;

2) The absolute demonization of the argentinian military as sadistic
monsters (in reinforcement of received stereotypes of latin american
gratuitous brutality), which was to be so convenient during the Malvinas

João Paulo Monteiro

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