December 5, 2013
Seven years and still waiting
Left wing protesters, human rights organizations and a few politicians gathered in front of the Congress building and, as they do every September 18, demanded the appearance of Julio López, a key witness in the trial against Miguel Etchecolatz, who vanished 7 years ago and whose fate remains a mystery.
On September 18, 2006, a day before the sentence against Etchecolatz on charges of crimes against humanity was delivered, Julio López vanished. The survivor of the military dictatorship’s clandestine detention centres, 77 years old when he went missing, has not been heard from since - but his name has not been forgotten.
At the rally, militants of the Left Front hold giant signs saying: “Jucio y castigo a todos los culpables” (Trial and punishment for the all the guilty) and different banners with the Workers Party name on it.
Meanwhile, a few activists were pulling out flags stored at the back of a truck with dozens of them stored inside it.
Oscar Kuperman, a directive member of the Marxist-Leninist Revolutionary Party stated:
“We are part of the ‘Memory Truth and Justice’ movement, and we organized this protest to demand a thorough investigation by government authorities”, Kuperman told the Herald.
He also criticised President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s past statements, once declaring during a political rally that “there are no missing people” in Argentina.
Many young people were also present and they expressed their indignation after receiving no response from the Federal Government regarding López .
“I came to repudiate his disappearance and to denounce that there are still people missing in democracy”, commented Ludmila Martínez, a 20 years old employee.
Prospective Army chief Cesar Milani also received harsh words from the present’s side.
“He is responsible for genocide”, assured Martínez, who also slammed the lack of willingness by the Government to reopen the classified documents regarding Lopez’s situation. Others present linked Miani’s designation with a supposed ‘right turn’ in the head of state’s politics.
Finally, 14 year-old- Luna Sierra launched a fierce attack on the handling of the López case: “Nobody looked for him, and it is an injustice for a comrade to vanish under a democratic administration.”“But he’s not the only one”, she concluded.
Not everyone pointed the finger at the Kirchner government. Gonzalo Ciortina, a Workers Party militant, expressed that “Democracy gives no guarantee of democratic freedoms. The security forces are still acting under the influence of political interests”, explained the 26 year-old- student, who denied involvement of the Kirchner administration in López’s disappearance.
“It was not the government’, Ciortina said.His comrades and relatives searched for him and continue to do so. There is no doubt in their minds that this is nothing other than López’s second forced disappearance. But this one occurred under democracy and remains an unresolved mystery.