Hebe de Bonafini bigraphy, stories - President of the Association of Mothers of Plaza de Mayo

Hebe de Bonafini : biography

December 4, 1928 -

Hebe Pastor de Bonafini (born December 4, 1928) is an Argentine activist, one of the founders of the Association of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, an organization of Argentine mothers whose children were disappeared during the Dirty War.Festivaletteratura, Authors' Archive. .New Internationalist, May 2003. .Punto Final. .

Life and times

Born Hebe María Pastor in Ensenada, Buenos Aires Province, she was raised in nearby La Plata, and attended school through the eighth grade. She married Humberto Alfredo Bonafini in 1942, worked as a seamstress, and raised three children.

The Dirty War cost the life of her elder son, Jorge Omar, on February 8, 1977, of her other son, Raúl Alfredo, on December 6, and of her daughter-in-law, María Elena Bugnone Cepeda, on May 25, 1978.

As president of the Mothers Association since 1979, Bonafini has spoken out in defense of her concept of human rights, both in Argentina and abroad, gaining international recognition; she received the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education in 1999.

Adopting the rallying cry of Aparición con vida (Make them appear alive) in 1980, Bonafini demanded an immediate accounting of all of the forced disappearances, including her sons. Amid a gradual loosening of restrictions, she organized a March of Resistance along the Avenida de Mayo on December 10, 1982. This event marked the first time the group marched outside the namesake Plaza de Mayo, and the first time it was joined by large crowds of sympathizers.[https://webspace.utexas.edu/cmr485/www/mothers/history.html Bennett, Adam, Ludlow, Marcee, and Reed, Christopher. Madres de Plaza de Mayo. University of Texas]

Following the return to civilian rule in 1983, divisions began to develop in the organization relating to what they believed to be President Raúl Alfonsín's overly cautious progress in prosecuting Dirty War perpetrators. Alfonsín established the 1985 Trial of the Juntas; but the decision to limit the proceedings to nine leading military junta members, as well as the acquittals handed to five of these, further antagonized Bonafini, who believed the president would forego further prosecutions for political considerations. The Mothers Association split in 1986, establishing two groups of around 2,000 members each: Bonafini's Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo Association, and the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo — Founding Line. Bonafini has generally been identified with the more radical faction, choosing to justify the methods undertaken by guerrillas during the last dictatorship.

On the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Bonafini generated international controversy when she defended the actions of the terrorist airline hijackers saying "I felt that there were many people in that moment who were happy and felt that the blood of so many in that moment were avenged... because the NATO bombings, the blockades and the millions of children who die of hunger in this world, that was due to this power that those men attacked, with their own bodies. And everyone knew it." Bonafini stands behind her support to organizations accused of terrorism such as FARC. Infobae, 2008 . Walter Wendelin, leader of the etarran Askapena organization, was invited as guest teacher in the University of Mothers of Plaza de Mayo.

Journalist Horacio Verbitsky criticized her support of the terrorist attacks, and Bonafini replied that "Verbitsky is a servant of the United States. He receives wages from the Ford Organization and, besides being Jewish, he is completely Americophile." She was accused of antisemitism, but denied it by saying that she merely intended to describe Verbitsky as an American agent. Verbitsky requested the tapes of the interview to the magazine that published them, and confirmed that Bonafini indeed said what the magazine had reported she said.

She generated more controversy in 2005 by stating that, as Pope John Paul II "committed many sins, he [would] go to hell." She added that she "didn't say more than what the Roman Catholic Church taught me."Clarín, 13 April 2005. .

Living octopus

Living octopus

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