25 March 1976

25 March, 1976

School was cancelled today on account of yesterday’s events–Isabel’s overthrow, the army’s assertion of total control. My mother and father don’t want me leaving the house anyway. Except, of course, to go to the restaurant, which Mom is leaving open for the army men patrolling the streets.

I can sense some relief from my father. His workers have been increasingly harder to control, to keep to the fields, to prevent from lashing out against his “reign.” I know he has tried many times to compromise with his workers over the years, and did take some of Péron’s workplace reforms seriously, but, honestly, I think he’s hopeful that some of his authority will be restored with the military in power. But I don’t know. He doesn’t talk about his work or political views with me. The only information I get is from the snippets of brief, hushed conversations I overhear between him and mom.

This past year, there’s been what’s seemed like nonstop violence in Tucumán. The army has been cracking down hard. There have been clashes between the army and left-wing Peronists. My father’s policeman friend, Jorge Natividad Luna, was killed by leftist guerilla gunfire, someone from the ERP or something like that. It’s horrible. People have been dying on all sides. I don’t know exactly what to make of it.

Fabricio has been sending me letters. As far as I know, I’m the only one he still writes to. After standing with the Montoneros and being wounded at Ezeiza, mom and dad basically disowned him. Did I ever tell you that? It’s hard for me to talk about. It’s been three years since I’ve seen him. My parents talk about him as if he’s an embarrassment–the disgrace in the family tree. But I think it just hurts less to pretend like he doesn’t matter to them. I really worry about him. He’s in Buenos Aires, colluding with revolutionaries. He subscribes to the idea that the only way to oppose violent government forces is with equal ferocity. I’m not sure I agree with that, but I’m also not sure what would be more effective. He sends me the occasional leftist publication, and I have to say, a lot of it makes sense to me.

Neither mom nor dad know that I still write to Fabricio (his code name is “Daniel Weisheim,” who is “my pen pal in Buenos Aires for a school project”…) because they would be absolutely livid. They’d cut my hands off. I don’t want to keep secrets from them, but he’s my brother, and my line to information I wouldn’t be getting otherwise.

I looked back at the note my mother left in the first page of this journal today, and could feel her fear rise like hot steam off the paper. She hasn’t stopped being afraid. I don’t want to be like that. I don’t know what’s going to happen now. Fabricio says he will continue fighting for the “Socialist Fatherland,” but I don’t know what to fight for, let alone believe.

I’ll write in a little while. I’ve had a lot of school-work (and some mild and relatively insignificant friend drama) recently, so it might not be for a week or so.



1 thought on “25 March 1976

  1. ssvolk says:

    Hi, Malena – thanks for letting me share your thoughts here. I must admit to being concerned about your brother. These are not good times to get on the wrong side of the military!

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