The March of Silence Took Place for the 23rd Time in 2018

Several thousand people made their way through the center of Montevideo, along 18 de Julio, Montevideo’s main street. This year, they again followed the appeal by the organization Madres y familiars de Uruguayos Detenidos Desaparecidos (Mothers and relatives of Uruguayans Arrested Missing). This year’s motto was: Impunity. Responsibility of the State. Yesterday and Today. Lucia Topolansky, the current vice-president and her husband, the former president José Mujica both stood at the crossing of 18 de Julio and Magallanes. Both were members of the Tupamaros and spent many years in prison. Asked by a journalist, if the armed forces still kept a pact of silence to prevent that the search for missing persons was making progress, Mujica agreed and added: “Obviously the responsible members of the military haven’t spoken about the incidents. Let’s hope that the truth will be revealed nevertheless, maybe in an unexpected way.” Very similar words were used by Daniel Sturla, archbishop of Montevideo, in a tweet: “A day of painful memories for our country and a justified demand of the families wanting to know where their missing relatives are. May the Holy Spirit enlighten those who could provide justice and peace for Uruguayans with their decision.”

Participants included as well Rafael Michelini, senator for the Frente Amplio and son of Zelmar Michelini, the politician murdered on Mai 20th 1976.

“Every year we march for truth, justice, remembrance and Never again state-terrorism.” In remembrance of the murder of the politicians, Zelmar Michelini and Héctor Gutiérrez Ruiz, the date was chosen: always on the 20th of May. Families who even 33 years after the end of the dictatorship don’t know where their relatives were buried, find support from many Uruguayans. “We are all relatives” is written on the banners, which they carry and again and again the photos of the young women and men who disappeared more than 40 years ago.

The March of Silence took place in the whole country, not only in Montevideo, thus very impressively conveying the message: The Day when the Silence is Shouting. People are tired of the silence by the persons responsible. All know what happened, but now it is first and foremost important to identify the remains of those who were killed and to bury them. More than 200 persons are still missing.