June 14, 1982

¡La situación en Argentina ahora es un desastre que jamás habría podido imaginar! Years of this repressive dictatorship have taken such a toll on us all. Every day we think of all of those who were taken from us, who still haven’t reappeared. It seems as if everyone I know knows someone who has disappeared. The disappearances have seemed to slow down in recent years, but the fear and grief continue to haunt me. And what’s more, the junta decided to go to war–as if our country isn’t dealing with enough right now! Perhaps they thought that reclaiming las Islas Malvinas would increase our national morale. But today Argentina surrendered to the British. The war only lasted 74 days, and the newspapers are reporting that hundreds have died. Que desastre, que desastre…

Marcello and I are married now. We’re still living in the same little apartment, but Mica moved out and has her own place. It’s close by, so we see her and Kevin often. Kevin’s growing up so quickly. He waddles around now on his chunky little legs, babbling constantly. If only my dear brother Eze could see his son. I told Marcello I don’t want to have kids until the dictatorship is over. Marcello isn’t happy about this, he wants to be a father so badly. I see it whenever he plays with Kevin, and I know he would make such a good dad. I tell him that I’m only 32, there’s still time, but right now I can’t possibly bring a child into this world. It just doesn’t feel safe yet. I’ve witnessed Mica’s pain in raising a child without her husband, and I can’t risk having a child until I know that nothing will happen to me or Marcello. I can’t start a family of my own until I am sure it won’t be torn apart.

But I feel hopeful that things will change soon. The war in las Islas Malvinas has been a catastrophe, but maybe it will bring about international attention. Maybe the world will start realizing what little regard our government has for civilians’ lives. I think it may already be happening. I’ve heard about journalists in the US who are writing about the disappearances here, the countless human rights violations. So few people in Argentina are brave enough to publicly accuse the government. I’m surely not brave enough to openly oppose the junta. I can’t believe I began keeping a diary when I was 18 because I wanted to be a journalist and to delve into politics. And here I am, working as a secretary, still too scared to speak openly about my hatred for this government. For some of my old friends, the dictatorship radicalized them, made them more politically active, made them fearless. For me, it made me scared. And once Eze disappeared, I was immobilized. Angry at the junta, but unable to act. Fear is an incredible thing.

1 thought on “June 14, 1982

  1. ssvolk says:

    I think it’s time to start thinking about the future, Rocio! The latest military disaster in the Malvinas will likely be the end of the military’s power here. Maybe, if we are lucky and work hard, this nightmare will come to an end – and you can think about having children!

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