The murder of Floreal García, Mirtha Hernández, Héctor Brum, María de los Angeles Corbo and Graciela Estefanel was a brutal and shocking crime. As shocking as the fact that 48 years after it we must continue demanding justice, without the legal case advancing. These five Uruguayans, social and political fighters, these compañeros, along with Julio Abreu and Amaral García, a small child at the time, were kidnapped in Buenos Aires, the place where they lived when they went into exile, after the establishment of the dictatorship in Uruguay.
It happened in the first days of November 1974. After being tortured in clandestine centers in Argentina, they were secretly transferred to Uruguay, savagely tortured for several days, in the Casa de Punta Gorda, and, finally, machine-gunned precisely in this place. Julio Abreu’s testimony has been of vital importance to learn part of what happened. The active participation of members of the Uruguayan armed forces is an undoubted fact, as is the discussion of the issue in the National Security Council (Cosena), chaired by Juan María Bordaberry and made up of Lt. Gral ® Gregorio Alvarez.
The assassination was an alleged act of reprisal for the death of Colonel Ramón Trabal in Paris.
Family and friends have been decisive
The little progress that has been made in clarifying these facts is due to the private efforts of relatives, colleagues and friends, the lack of real and effective involvement of the body that has all the powers to investigate in our country: the Judiciary being notable. . Although since October 2011 there are no legal obstacles to act, although the Expiration Law is no longer a legal impediment, the legal case, despite the efforts of the Special Prosecutor for crimes against humanity, continues without progress. Even those more than likely involved in the events even enjoy house arrest, without ever having been questioned about it. The criminal investigation that only the Judiciary can carry out, with all the guarantees of due process, and with the corresponding rigor, is the way to arrive at the truth, to clarify the facts and identify those responsible.
The Maidanik Sentence and others: crimes against humanity
The prosecution of the perpetrators and those responsible for the serious violations is a decisive element, even fundamental, to arrive at the truth of what happened to the disappeared detainees. The Judiciary has to fulfill its institutional mission. Its highest body, the Supreme Court of Justice, must accept that from the Nuremberg Tribunal, to which Uruguay adhered, these murders are “crimes against humanity” as claimed by the Diana Maidanik Judgment and others from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights December of last year. It must also generate the conditions that allow judges to act, focus and resolve. It must stop the undue house arrests of those who have been convicted of the worst crimes in the history of our country.
That the trials really be oral and public
The Supreme Court of Justice must also ensure that the trials of the recent past are oral and public when appropriate, provide adequate location conditions, can be transmitted online and live so that all citizens have direct knowledge of the testimonies of the victims of serious human rights violations. The fight for justice is the fight against impunity, against the culture of impunity, for formal freedoms, to affirm and deepen democratic institutions. It is the fight to affirm the norms of Human Rights and to face all the attempts to change the Memory of what happened, the historical account interested in relativizing the responsibility of those who promoted and carried out the process of State terrorism.
State terrorism: the response of power groups
It was not the union, student and trade union protests that opened the doors to the military, the causes of the dictatorship and state terrorism.
The dictatorship was the response of the dominant power groups to the country’s economic crisis that began in 1955. June 13, 1968 is a historic date that marks a before and after in the life of Uruguay. The dictatorship was a global and integral country project that was imposed in Latin America and especially in the Southern Cone promoted from the US. It is the reality of the facts, it is the historical truth that no Minute of aspiration can modify. As always, we pay tribute to the Soca Shots, we claim their commitment to life and the country, we rescue their legacy and we will continue to do so demanding Truth and Justice.
Raise the fighting flags:
Long live the Soca Shots.