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March 26, 2017
Monday, March 20, 2017

Your View

A TRAGEDY?
I read: “The tragedy that happened on Saturday night at an Indio Solari’s concert in Olavarría ...”
A tragedy?! A tragedy, in my view, might be an earthquake, a tsunami, a tornado, a hurricane, something unavoidable, a dramatic and traumatic event you cannot predict or foretell, that falls on us out of the blue, unexpectedly.
What happened in Olavarría, which could have been much, much worse, was a result of negligence, of absolute lack of prevention, of sheer irresponsibility.
We don’t seem to learn anything from our mistakes. We stumble upon the same rocks again and again. “Cromagnon” hasn’t taught us anything at all. Ours is a suicidal society, self-destructive, immature, hopeless and helpless.
It’s no use crying over spilt milk. But we keep on doing so. And we’ve failed once again.

Ringuelet/La Plata
Irene Bianchi

THEY WILL REMAIN
On May 7, 2013, I had the privilege of meeting Carla Rutila Artés and her husband, Nicolás Biedma, at the screening of the 54-minute Spanish documentary ¿Y si tú sos vos?, the first regarding the search in Europe for the Argentine children kidnapped by the military dictatorship. (The full documentary can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvZzEsIR6-w&feature=youtu.be).
Carla is the first grandchild recovered by the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo and shares with Nicolás the tragic fate of having parents who were kidnapped, taken to Automotores Orletti, tortured and disappeared. As I wrote in the Herald four days later: “All of us who viewed this hour of horror were deeply moved by the tragedy undergone by these youngsters, abducted from their parents and given in adoption to repressors. They were mistreated and endured years of suffering until recovering their true identity.”
That’s why I was shocked when the day after its first screening, Nicolás Biedma went missing. As I wrote in my next letter (May 25), I feared he had suffered the same fate as Jorge Julio López. Gladly, I was wrong.
But last February 24 I was appalled when I read in the Herald that, three days before, Carla died of cancer. So young, so much suffering, such a tragic fate.
Carla Rutila Artés is no longer with us. But her courageous testimony will live forever.

City
Ildefonso Miguel Thomsen

THE QUALITY OF YOUR PRINT
The truth is I can’t read your newspaper, even with the aid of reading-glasses and a magnifying-glass. Pages 40 and 41 are illegible, the bottom of some pages equally illegible because the reverse print shows through.
This is in reference to the March 10 edition.
Disgruntedly yours,

City
Ana Justo
Ed. We are sorry that the copy reaching your hands did not meet with your satisfaction. We checked the copy of the March 10 edition in our files and found pages 40 and 41 perfectly clear (in point of fact the most flawed page in our copy was 25, Englishontheside, which had a white streak down its right-hand half). The quality can vary between different batches of the print run and we are sorry you did not have better luck but if this happens again and you are in the area, by all means drop around and lay claim to a decent copy. Thank you very much for your loyalty.


MISTREATMENT OF INDIANS?
Recent articles in the Herald and other media point out the mistreatment of the native Indians going back to the arrival of the first Spaniards. But here is what the Herald printed on September 15, 1886*:
“The year began in the midst of a gigantic invasion launched by the Iindians in December, 1885. Backed by almost all the desert tribes the legendary chief Catriel had rampaged over the south and southeast districts of Buenos Aires. The historian Walther notes that in Azul alone 400 settlers were murdered, 500 captured and 300.000 animals stolen. Colonel Lavalle put an end to the uprising, defeating more than 3,000 Indian lancers in the battle of the Laguna de Parauil. Over the rest of the year the province suffered three more invasions. Namuncurá at the head of 2,000 lancers invaded Junin, etc.”
Just imagine if you lived in those days and heard the news of these attacks, or were victim of one of them. Wouldn’t you be so frightened that you would support any action against the Indians? Keep in mind that there were no local police and little or no permanent army presence. Settlers were generally alone, unprotected. Unfortunately, this lack of government security is what led to many of the atrocities. The Herald article reported, for example:
“It is not surprising that the settlers reacted, at times with unusual ferocity. This is the case of the inhabitants of the California colony (they were North Americans) in the north of Santa Fe, who, led by the famous Moore brothers, organised a campaign of reprisals which ended with such a massacre of Indians that the officers and men of the local garrison were horrified.”
It’s not a question of who threw the first stone. The Indians behaved as they normally did and the settlers responded the way they could be expected to. The real tragedy lies in something else. For example, In Santa Cruz when my ancestors settled in 1885, they had no problem with the Tehuelche Indians. But settlers who came later brought something that killed more Indians than any gun ever did: smallpox, Yellow Fever and alcohol.
Instead of crying about the horrors of previous centuries, shouldn’t the Herald decry the policies and corruption of the K and Peronist governments that left us with some of the world’s worst slums and futureless kids?
 
(*Quotes taken from the September 15, 1886 Herald reprinted in the September 20, 1976 Herald special edition celebrating the Buenos Aires Herald’s first 100 years.)
 
Olivos
Henry Whitney
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