Dirty Wars and Long Lunches

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Photo by Terrence Henry

La Boca Neighborhood

Today is "Truth and Justice Memorial Day" in Argentina, a holiday to remember the military coup that took place on March 24, 1976, and marked the beginning of a brutal dictatorship that would last seven years and take 30,000 lives.

It's a terribly recent history, and since being here I have wondered at what it would be like to have spent the first half of my childhood under junta rule, and the rest recovering from it. Add to that the financial crisis here that came to a head in 2001, and you have very real, contemporary hardships on a level most of us haven't had to deal with.

But today, while some are gathering in the city square to march in solemn remembrance of the tens of thousands who disappeared under military rule, many others are using the holiday to have a long lunch. The cafes and restaurants in our neighborhood, which don't typically fill up during the day, are packed with friends and families savoring a big steak, fries and a bottle of Malbec. And that, I think, is just as fine a way to say "never again."