Argentina is frequently cited as an exemplary case for how transitional justice can be achieved in the aftermath of state violence and, the role truth commissions, memory work and legal reform can play in the process.
Between, April 11-15, 2011, we organised a study trip in Argentina focusing on transitional justice experience of the country. In general, we learned a lot from the visit and had many ideas to develop the framework of a center in Turkey.
The visiting team consisted of project director (Meltem Aslan), and advisory board members (Nazan Üstündağ, Özgür Sevgi Göral and Murat Çelikkan). We visited the following organisations and met with the practitioners:
- Center for Social and Legal Studies (CELS): CELS is a non-governmetal organization founded in 1979. Working from a technical-legal perspective, it promotes and protects human rights, the strengthening of democracy, and the rule of law in Argentina.
- Mothers of Plaza de Mayo: It is an association of Argentine mothers whose children “disappeared” during the Dirty War of the military dictatorship, between 1976 and 1983.
- Forensic Anthropology Team: It is an internationally acclaimed group, which had a very important role to helpt the truth to come out about thedirty war.
- Memoria Abierta: Memoria Abierta, coordinated action of human rights organizations, works to raise social awareness and knowledge about state terrorism in order to enrich democratic culture.
- Olimpo: Olimpo was one of the central clandestine detention centers in Buenos Aires during the junta regime which in year 2005 was transformed into a site of memory/community center.
- ESMA: ESMA is the biggest clandestine center in the city of Buenos Aires and played a crucial role in disappearances. Moreover, we observed one of the trials of ESMA, which is one of the most significant trials of former military personnel active during the 1976-83 Argentine dictatorship.
- The Memorial of State Terror: The memorial is situated in a large space in the outskirts of city where several other monuments are also exhibited.
After the visit, we published a study visit report. The purpose of this report is to reflect upon observations through the study visit conducted to Argentina and thereby engage in a comparative analysis of Turkey and Argentina both of which have gone through a series of military regimes and have suffered severe human right violations.
“Dealing with Past: Argentinean Experience” study visit report is available here.