I never thought that I would start one of these weird things, but I guess now is as good a time as any to look back. After all, I just turned 40 years old and who knows when I’m kicking the bucket over here?
I honestly don’t know how to start this, so I’ll start with something that I read this morning. I’m sure I’ll never forget this date as the time when our country decided to forgive the putas (I haven’t used that word for a long time) who were responsible for the rape of our country, the killing of unknowable numbers of people, and the terrorizing of an entire nation for eight long years. My life has been relatively stable over the past few years: I’ve managed to hold a steady job for years and years, and taking care of my kids and wife has been a really time consuming task, but something that kept me grounded.
Unfortunately, as I look at this complete failure of government, I feel the anger long forgotten start to rise again. I voted with the Radical Civic Union of course, but I actually thought that Menem had some cajones when it came to real government. I know that it is scary to continue to prosecute a group that has held so much power for so long, but the country needs this. The country needs for some justice to take place, because none of these members have faced any punishment for their horrible crimes, and I’m getting more and more sure that they never will. After all, a pardon is a binding document, and the people are too scared to try and overturn it.
While I desperately want these leaders to be brought to justice, I also feel shameful thoughts in my head: what is it was better that we just forgot about all of this? What if it doesn’t matter what they did as long as we can move forward as a country? I feel betrayed by myself whenever these thought enter my brain, but they stick around and poison me. Where was the young man who fought so hard to bring these people down? Where is the drive that brought me to live in squalor for so long? While I almost never had to fire a weapon, I definitely had to be in close quarters with all of those brave soldiers as I helped make the propaganda for all of the efforts. For the first time in my life, I feel out of touch with the fight, and that’s why I can’t help but blame myself for the horrible tragedy that has taken place here today. The country has decided to pardon those responsible for tragic deaths because people like me have been sitting on their asses in their comfortable jobs and not making sure that the junta was brought to justice. I feel so much shame, and I hope that I can find the time to continue the fight that I so strongly believed in.
-Roberto Rodriguez Clemente