Unearthing Memory: The Present Struggle Over The Past

For the past three years, tens of thousands of Uruguayans have participated in the May 20 "March for the Truth" to demand that the Uruguayan state investigate the fate of those who were disappeared during that country's military dictatorship (1973-85). The Uruguayan armed forces and the political elites who granted them impunity by passing an amnesty law in 1986 believed that this chapter of the country's recent history had been closed, particularly after the referendum to overturn the amnesty law was defeated in 1989. In spite of efforts to bury these conflicts about the past in the past, it is clear that the torture, disappearances and killings that took place during the dictatorships and internal wars are still very much a part of the present. Examining some of these struggles over the past is the objective of this NACLA Report.