When reflecting on the events that occurred leading up to and following the disappearances that were committed by Argentina’s military in the 1970s and 1980s, it is easily seen that the emotional climate created by socioeconomic-political events during the period played a leading role in maintaining a sense of fear nationwide that ultimately led to the creation of a society that was unable to speak out or act against blatant violations of human rights, even as they took place in plain sight. The power of fear took over Argentina causing citizens to feel as if they were incapable of speaking out against what was taking place around them.
Since the fall of Argentina’s dictatorship, there has been a collective movement to reverse the climate of fear that once existed in throughout the nation. Because of once existing fear tactics, people today that have a relationship to the violation of rights that took place know that they must work to not only reverse the climate of fear that once existed, but to create a culture of peace. This begins with making the events that occurred in the 1970s and 80s known to the entire nation and around the world. Those working in the memorials, those who are survivors, and those with family members who have disappeared are continually working to create an open environment in which events, and the emotional connections to those events, are not forgotten and that those who have experienced trauma have a chance to mourn and to be heard.
Through the use of memorials, marches, and art throughout the city, citizens of Argentina are working to ensure that the climate of fear that once existed cannot be recreated. For me, the most powerful form of education that I witnessed were the photographs and names of victims seen at each memorial, particularly at La Perla, where loved ones were able to remember and mourn those that they had lost. The open discussions and educational opportunities we were a part of helped to work towards a culture of peace.
Rivera, J. D. (2007). Emotional Climate, Human Security, and Cultures of Peace. Journal of Social Issues, 63(2), 233-253. Retrieved June 4, 2018.