The initiative consisted of setting up a Site of Memory at the entrance to one of the health care centers of the CASMU mutual insurance company, located at 1305 Artigas Boulevard, on the corner of Guaná, where the Venezuelan Embassy operated in 1976. Quinteros tried to escape from the repressive forces and request diplomatic asylum where the Venezuelan embassy was located, but she was unsuccessful because she was captured and disappeared to this day.
In the allusive plaque, the image of Quinteros is accompanied by a message in which part of his life related to union and political militancy is narrated, in addition to explaining the circumstances of his kidnapping.
“This June 28, on the occasion of the commemoration of the 46th anniversary of the kidnapping of Elena Quinteros on the premises of our current Bvar Polyclinic. Artigas (then the Venezuelan embassy) inaugurated a work of art in her memory created by the artist Salomón Azar”, said the president of CASMU, Raúl Germán Rodríguez.
He recalled that on June 27, 1973, the date on which the coup d’état took place, a different stage began in the country, in which Uruguayans gradually faced this situation, “achieving spaces that finally led to a democracy full”.
Rodríguez emphasized the importance of memory and the supreme value of human life, as well as that of justice, freedom and democracy.
“The teacher Elena Quinteros for all of us is a symbol of that unity, of that respect, of that joint struggle of the entire Uruguayan people. What happened is something we should never forget. Democracy unites us all, it strengthens us, it gives us prestige and we can never lose that path again”, she reflected.
In that place, CASMU had already placed a plaque commemorating the event. In 2021, on the occasion of Heritage Day, the mutual society opened the space to the public, handing out reminder material of the disappearance of Quinteros. This year, in compliance with a resolution promoted by the CASMU Officials Association (AFCASMU) and supported by the Uruguayan Medical Union (SMU) and other social organizations, it was decided to pay tribute.
One of the refugees who was able to witness the tragic episode from inside the Venezuelan Embassy was the journalist Alberto Grille, who also participated in the ceremony and shared his experience with those present.
“We must vindicate the memory and the memory of what happened, but also the condemnation of some events that should never happen again,” said Grille.
The teacher and activist Elena Quinteros is still missing today.