On the Steps of Justice

Retribution. Justice. I keep hearing these words, and I find that I do not know how to feel. How is it that 640 years in sentence somehow leads to 30 years in prison? Is a system that considers this “justice,” considers this “retribution” one that truly atones for these “crimes against humanity?” And does that phrase even begin to encompass the horrors Scilingo – that the Junta – wrought? Why is it the Spanish can prosecute those responsible for our terror, but our own countrymen pardon these murderers, these monsters? 

I find myself torn, simultaneously filled with the sense of relief that this decision brings, and by an overwhelming feeling that this isn’t nearly enough. That this isn’t justice, but a farce. How can 30 years in prison make amends for the countless deaths – the countless families ripped apart – the millions of tears coerced from the eyes of my people?

I’m truly an old man now. 70 years of experience weighing on my mind, on my soul. Maybe my frustrations with the decision are inklings of the senile years to come – the irrational emotions of a soon to be raving old man. True lucidity, I now realize, is a thing of the past. I feel as though my mind, once a sharp, dangerous tool, is slowly transitioning to a dull blade, somehow both blunted and preserved by years upon years of reflection. 

I often forget what I aimed to accomplish when walking into a room, see teammates that I spent years with as blurred faces when reminiscing about my golden years on the pitch, yet the time I spent in that prison still haunts me – the screams as real as the days during which I experienced them. I can still see Videla’s face, his piercing eyes burned into my memory forever, and this is why I can’t see this decision and be satisfied. See this and feel as though Justice has been found.

30 years. For 30,000 lives. It simply is not enough. 

1 thought on “On the Steps of Justice

  1. ssvolk says:

    I know what you mean, Diego, but there is part of this process with Scilingo that I’m satisfied. Videla, Viola, Massera, all of them denied that they did anything, that anything “wrong” happened. Maybe they will be tried again, I doubt it, but they have never accepted that what they did was wrong. Scilingo, for all the horrors, has accepted this. It’s awful to hear, but better than a denial. Ironic that it took Spain for this to come about.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *