All at once, the content, fuzzy feelings that lingered after Christmas have disappeared. I am full of rage, disbelief, confusion. Menem has pardoned those monsters from the junta. He claims that we have to move on from the pain in our past, and become a nation of forgiveness. I would have cursed at the top of my lungs when I first found out if I weren’t worried it would wake the baby.
I had to go into work immediately to cover the story. Most of my co-workers were as distressed by the news as I was. Only Juaquin seemed to agree with Menem. He thinks that the only way to move forward is to forget about the junta and start looking towards the future. He imagines Argentina having a booming economy and wide-reaching international power. He must have not had any family members or friends disappear. He must be ignorant of the feeling that comes when you scan the newspaper frantically every morning for their names. Juaquin didn’t put his life on hold for ten years while he waited out the violence. I later found out from someone else that his father is in the military, perhaps one of the carapintadas who have been causing such a mess. Go figure.
I worry that the next generations will grow up in a country where we are silent about what happened during the regime. How can they learn from us if we don’t hold our oppressors accountable? How can I keep my daughters safe if it’s possible the same thing will happen all over again? Will my diary be the only evidence that remains, besides the truth and reconciliation reports that tell only a small part of the story? This day is a low point after many years of hope and happiness.