President Alberto Fernández and Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner on Thursday participated in a ceremony to recognise human rights organisations, thus marking the first anniversary of their arrival in office which also fell on International Human Rights Day.
“What we want is for once and for all a country with memory, which seeks justice and truth,” said Fernández in a joint appearance with his vice-president which aroused considerable media comment after reports of a certain distance between them.
The ceremony unfolded in the former Navy Mechanics School (ESMA), an emblematic concentration camp under the dictatorship which was transformed into the Espacio de Memoria museum in 2004 during the presidency of the late Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007).
The following six human rights activists (all women) received the Azucena Villaflor prize, named after a Mothers of Plaza de Mayo co-founder who went missing in 1977:
Angela ‘Lita’ Boitano, of the Families of the Detained and Missing
Iris Avellaneda of the Argentine League of the Rights of Man, (LADH in its Spanish acronym) and mother of Floreal Avellaneda, 15, whose tortured corpse was washed up on Uruguayan shores.
Rosa Roisinblit, vice-president of the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo (present at the ceremony via virtual connection)
Vera Jarach of the Fundación Memoria Histórica y Social (also virtually connected)
Eva Basterra, daughter of the late Víctor Basterra, the last living survivor of ESMA
Rosa Bru, the mother of Miguel Bru, who went missing under democratic rule.
The ceremony also included the announcement of the delivery of intelligence archives from dictatorship times referring to the activities of 13 human rights organisations to the Human Rights Secretariat.