August 4, 1978
Vice Admiral Lambruschini’s daughter was killed two days ago. It is like all of my nightmares come to life. Maria has not stopped crying since, and Camila looks hollow- Paula was one of her friends at school. I’m not sure if she knows how close she is to being a target, but Maria understands now the danger our children are in. I think that I may send them away until I think it’s safer here in Buenos Aires, but I do not know that I could stand to have them separated from me again. Here, they are at least under my protection from disappearances- I cannot guarantee that the junta would overlook my daughter’s rebellious ways if she were farther from my watch. I wish this violence would end; I cannot help but blame these subversives who continue to fight back. If they would just do as the junta said, there would be no more fighting. ESMA would be empty, there would be no more raids in the night and no more children led astray by twisted views. If they could just accept the way Argentina should be, everything could be peaceful again. It has been two years of Videla’s leadership now, yet still people resist his vision for the country. I agree with him; I believe in a Christian state, brotherhood among Argentines, the stability of the family. But I am doubting more and more every day the lengths to which I am willing to go to support this junta. Every day, the danger for my children and my wife grow from all sides. The subversives will target anyone connected to the military- we know this more than ever now. But my daughter, my beautiful, spirited daughter, is a danger to herself and to us all. I do not know where she got the notions she has about right and wrong and the path for Argentina, but they did not come from my household. I get angrier and angrier with her every day- Maria tells me the way to show her reason is not to yell and boil over, but I cannot help it. I try to listen, to have a reasoned conversation with her, but she is so stubborn and her notions are so terrifying that I have to scare it out of her. I am worried I will lose her. She was my angel for so long, she followed me everywhere when I would come home when she was small. I would throw her up in the air and she would scream for joy and I could catch her every time. But I cannot catch her now. I have tried to raise my children as a proud father, the way my father raised me. I had dreams once that Camila would marry an officer, that José would follow in my footsteps and my father’s footsteps and join the Navy. Now, I do not know. The bombing showed me something- all I want, truly and fully, is the safety of my children. I used to think that safety lay in the military, in the life that I have led for as long as I can remember. But the military has changed, for better or for worse. I am no less a part of it than I have always been, but I can wish for more for the futures of my children. I pray to God that they live long enough to have that choice.