Argentina’s last dictator, Reynaldo Bignone, 90, died last Wednesday in a military hospital. The week before, another ex-dictator, Luciano Benjamín Menéndez, died at 90 too.

Both were serving out life sentences for «disappearing» thousands of people during the military rule that began with the 1976 coup d’etat, and ended in 1983.

Bignone and Menéndez: remnants of a bloody and repressive dictatorship, a deep scar that stil hurts.

After the most tragic period of our recent history, we all came back to life when Raúl Alfonsín was elected President. We were all so hopeful, so glad that it was all over. A new dawn after those dark years. There was a feeling of brotherhood in the air, of optimism, of harmony, of starting anew, from scratch.

But, unfortunately, we seem to be experts in wasting opportunities. Some countries have come back to life after suffering awful wars. were literally reborn from their ashes, an are now powerful nations. But, in many senses, we – Argentines – are stuck in the mud and don’t learn from our mistakes. We keep confronting, arguing, opposing, hating one another, widening the breach, instead of building bridges and joining efforts.

It’s unbelievable, for instance, that having gone through that dictatorship not so long ago, some people who don’t like President Macry should call him «a dictator».

Ignorance, lack of memory or just sheer malice.

Published on Buenos Aires Times