The following blog post is about a "memory site" called The Remembrance Park. In Argentina, memory sites are places and spaced used to commemorate the lives of the desaparecidos, the thousands of people who disappeared during the country's Dirty War (1969-1983).
This memory site is located near the La Plata river. The river holds a great significance in the stories of many of the desaparecidos because it is the resting place of for several thousand of those who disappeared. Some were taken on "death flights" where they were drugged, shackled and weighed down, and then pushed off of a flying plane into the river while they were still alive. Others, who were already dead, were thrown into the river to the murky waters of the river have made the bodies of the deceased hard to find and retrieve. This has left many families without closure and made it difficult to gather evidence to convict war criminals.
There were 30,000 spots total, the estimated number of people who were disappeared. Some stone plaques looked older than others, which showed that names were being added all the time. The calculated kidnapping and killings did not target just one demographic of people. The victims were young (the youngest one I saw a as nine years old), old, men, women, and women who were pregnant.
One figure in particular is dedicated to one of the many young victims. Placed about fifty feet away from the dock and into the river is the figure of a young boy, fourteen years old to be exact, with his hands tied behind his back. An instructor from Georgia State University brought a bouquet of flowers from which we were all given a flower to throw into the river in remembrance of the many people who forcibly drowned.
This memory site was another example of how Argentina has commissioned artists to create excellent, expressive art pieces to commemorate those who were "disappeared" in the Dirty War.