Argentina’s human rights activists Mothers of Plaza de Mayo continued to participate Friday in the 24-hour March of Resistance that began on Thursday in the center of Buenos Aires to protest the government of President Mauricio Macri and its neoliberal measures in the South American country.
The march ended at 7 p.m. local time, as hundreds of supporters joined the 36th march, also remembering the 30,000 people disappeared and killed during the country's dictatorship.
Nora Cortiñas, from the organization, said they have “thirty thousand reasons to continue resistance. Every Thursday over the past 36 years were of resistance and we will continue to do so.”
Under the banner “Solidarity and Struggle or Hunger and Repression,” the march has brought together various social movements “in the face of lies, hunger and setbacks,” just a day ahead of the first anniversary of Macri’s inauguration on Dec. 10.
Congressman Maximo Kirchner, son of former presidents Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Nestor Kirchner, joined the event on Thursday at midnight and marched with Hebe de Bonafini, head of the organization, who stayed in a tent and is currently in a wheelchair due to medical problems and the fact that she is 88 years old.
The supporters, some of them over 90 years old, are staying at the Plaza de Mayo, the iconic square just a few steps away from the presidential palace of Casa Rosada.
"Today, in the face of the day-to-day persecution in our country, the lack of work and constant subversion of rights, it is necessary to redouble our efforts to show that the struggle continues," said the group in a statement.
The attendees also called for the release of the Indigenous leader of the Tupac Amaru organization, Milagro Sala, who has been in jail for almost a year, as international human rights groups continue to call for her release. The march was joined by Nobel Peace prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel and included a tribute to the leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro.
During Macri’s first year in office, the Mothers restarted a tradition of holding a weekly March of Resistance to commemorate the victims of the U.S.-backed Dirty War that disappeared an estimated 30,000 people.
The March of Resistance began during the military dictatorship in 1981 and continues to demand justice for the thousands of babies who were kidnapped by police.
The movement had suspended the march during the government of left-wing former presidents Nestor and Cristina Fernandez, who championed social programs and enjoyed the support of social movements. Seeing Macri as the “enemy” of social movements, marginalized people and working Argentines, the Mothers reinstated the customary march during Macri's first day in office in December 2015, and then again on Aug. 27, 2016.
Hebe de Bonafini, a strong opposition to Macri, said in an interview Wednesday that she will continue to defend human rights in the country, despite recent threats against her.
"I live with my house doors open, I have never closed them, not even during the time of the dictatorship because I say that I fight for a country where I don't have to close my doors," said Bonafini.
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