For the Sake of Democracy, Argentines Urge Others Not to Vote for Milei

By Alejandra Garcia on November 12, 2023

Javier Milei

Argentina is in the countdown to its presidential elections next Sunday, a position debated between the Peronist Sergio Massa and the ultra-right-wing Javier Milei. In this critical contest the country is living in hours of uncertainty as polls show minimal differences between the candidates. Amid the concern, a recent initiative that has gone viral in the Argentinean networks and other latitudes, shows that the people who still carry the horror and pain of the dictatorship of 1976-1983 are afraid that history will repeat itself in a country that insists on “Never Again!”

According to the polls, the scenario is still very tight. The latest polls increase the advantage of Milei, of La Libertad Avanza (LLA), who would obtain 45.1 percent of the votes. We are talking about a man who is “a classic case of pathological insecurity, with narcissistic tendencies, of self-conscious masculinity. It would seem like a cheap soap opera until one realizes the immense damage he can do, if he hasn’t already done so,” as described by El Pais journal.

This candidate seeks to dollarize Argentina’s economy and proposes to create a market to promote the sale and purchase of human organs and the free importation of arms. He also dismisses the pain ingrained in the society by the brutal civil-military dictatorship that left more than 30,000 people missing.

With the imminent threat of his coming to power, those still searching for justice feel despair. Last week, Ana Fernández -daughter of Ana María Careaga, survivor of the clandestine center Club Atlético and granddaughter of Esther Ballestrino, one of the founders of Madres de Plaza de Mayo- decided to tell her story out loud in one of Buenos Aires’ subway trains, at one of the busiest hours of the capital. Her words were recorded on video, and is now multiplying on social networks.

“My mom was 16 years old when she was kidnapped pregnant with me. She was taken to a concentration camp, where she was stripped of everything, even her name: she became a letter and a number. She was brutally tortured. She turned 17 in that concentration camp. My grandmother went out to look for her and met other mothers who today are known as the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo,” she said.

Fernandez implored people to not vote on Sunday for La Libertad Avanza, whose candidates vindicate State terrorism. Born in Sweden in 1977 after her mother’s release, Ana María Careaga’s daughter recalled her grandmother’s fatal destiny: “she was also kidnapped along with two other mothers and two French nuns. They were taken to the Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada (ESMA) and thrown alive into the sea”.

“In that concentration center, Jorge ‘El Tigre’ Acosta committed crimes against humanity, a perpetrator of genocide who today is asking people to vote for Javier Milei,” she denounced in front of the subway passengers.

Since the beginning of the electoral campaign, Milei has confronted activists seeking justice for those who disappeared during the dictatorship. The activists are a social majority that have supported the positions of Memory, Truth, and Justice for 40 years since the return of democracy in Argentina. The candidate questions that policy and has made up figures of the number of disappeared without any proof. During the presidential debate, he said that 8,753 people disappeared in Argentina to downplay the number of the over 30,000 disappeared promoted by human rights organizations and relatives of victims of state terrorism.

Ana’s initiative is one of the many social interventions in public spaces that are now multiplying publicly on the eve of the ballot. A mother of three children with disabilities who repudiates the candidate who uses the word “Mongolico” (Stupid) as an insult and a woman victim of gender violence who demands the free sale of weapons to be prohibited, are just some examples of other interventions in Buenos Aires’ public transportation system that have gone viral.

“I love this country. I want to live here in peace, and I want us all to be able to live having differences, tolerating our differences, and without fear of being kidnapped, tortured, and thrown alive into the sea,” Ana explained with her voice breaking. “Please, for the sake of Argentina’s democracy, don’t vote for Milei,” she concluded.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano – English