An act in Congress brought together the current president with the three ex-presidents still alive since the return to democracy. “Today we want to ratify our democratic commitment,” said Vice Beatriz Argimon.
President Luis Lacalle Pou, and the three former presidents since the return to democracy still alive -Julio Sanguinetti (1985-1990 and 1995-2000), Luis Lacalle Herrera (1990-1995) and Jose Mujica (2010-2015), participated this Monday in the act held at the seat of Power Legislative, to commemorate the 50 years of the coup d’etat, of 1973.
“50 years ago, the dictatorship wanted to silence the representatives of the people. Today we want to ratify our democratic commitment from this Parliament democratically elected by the citizens,” said the vice president, Beatriz Argimon, at the opening of the ceremony.
The last session in the Senate before the dissolution of the Chambers, lat dawn on June 27, 1973was recreated with images of that night projected on the dome of the venue, while emblematic speeches by legislators of the time were heard.
The presentation was standing plauded by those present, several visibly moved, before they sang the national anthem in the majestic Salon de los Pasos Perdidos where they the military broke in five decades ago.
In the winter mist, the facade of the Legislative Palace it was later lit up with the colors of the Uruguayan flag and the words “Forever Democracy,” the phrase chosen to mark the date.
Around the iconic marble building, hundreds of candles were lit as part of the “day of reflection” convened by the Jacaranda collective, made up of social activists and unions.
a long process
The last dictatorship in Uruguay began on June 27, 1973 when the then President JJuan Maria Bordaberry decreed the closure of Parliament with the support of the Armed Forces.
Historians point out as antecedents the economic crisis of the mid-1950s, and the subsequent social and economic deterioration. It was also in the 1960s that the urban guerrilla Movement for National Liberation-Tupamaros (MLN-T) emerged and increased the weight of the military in politics, in a Cold War context.
Officially they are counted 197 people missing for actions attributed to the Uruguayan State between 1968 and 1985, the vast majority of whom were detained in Argentina in the framework of the Condor Plan collaboration between neighboring de facto regimes. The Uruguayan dictatorship was also characterized by the systematic use of torture against thousands of political prisoners.
An intense month of June
This June, several events linked to the dictatorship occurred in Uruguay. The remains of a woman, found on June 6 in an Army unit, are under analysis. She could be the sixth missing detainee identified.
Two retired soldiers Rubens Francia and Francisco Macalusowere sentenced to 12 years and six months in prison for crimes against humanity committed during the dictatorship against communist militants.
In compliance with judgments of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Uruguayan State made two public recognitions of his illegitimate actions during the past de facto regime, the first in 2012 and the second on June 15, when admitted extrajudicial execution of the three “April Girls”, as well as two related enforced dispearances.
“It is time to close the duel”
On the occasion of this new anniversary of the 1973 coup, former president Jose “Pepe” Mujica gave an interview to RFI where he spoke about those years and the conditions in which he was imprisoned.
“They changed our barracks every six, seven months. I spent seven years without books, without being able to read. The first months of that prison I spent wired. The night they put me on a mattress to sleep on, I felt hpy. Sometimes I went two months without bathing. I bathed with a glass of water and a cloth like the people of the desert. And in absolute solitude, with a visit from my relatives once a month, particularly from my mother,” he said.
-You have said several times that you prefer the truth over justice.
-Because truth is justice. Because when people die and leave, what good is it for me to have old people imprisoned, if some remain? It makes little sense. But it is time to close the duel. It is time for family members who are leaving and who are left, to join the relics of their ancestors. Because this is a matter of feeling.