The Armenian community in Argentina will march today to commemorate the 108th Armenian genocide anniversary. The Inter-Youth Bureau of the Armenian Community of Buenos Aires (MICA) called for a march today at 6 p.m. starting at the Faculty of Law of the University of Buenos Aires. The march will end in front of the residency of the Turkish Ambassador, on the corner between Figueroa Alcorta Avenue and Ortiz de Ocampo street.
“No more denialism, no more genocides and ‘no’ to a new Armenian genocide: that’s our slogan,” Agustín Analian, one of the organizers of today’s march, told the Herald.
The participants will also demand the recognition of the Artsakh territory as a republic, protesting against Turkey and Azerbaijan’s blockade and violence against them.
The Armenian genocide, which lasted between 1915 and 1923, was the attempted systematic extermination of the Armenian people perpetrated by the Turkish state. The crimes against the Armenians, along with the Holocaust, sparked the first use of the term “genocide” in 1943.
The genocide was committed 108 years ago, which means there are very few survivors living today. That is why Analian considers the survivor’s descendants crucial for the diaspora’s struggle.
“They raise awareness, they advocate in the streets — they carry on with the flame of the struggle for the vindication of the rights of the people.”
Attendees will be able to join by taking buses from the epicenters of the Armenian diaspora in Buenos Aires: the neighborhoods of Valentín Alsina, Flores and Palermo.
Today’s march will also call on the Azerbaijani authorities to end its blockade of the Lachin Corridor — a vital mountain road between the two countries. The Armenian community is asking for their neighboring country to comply with the United Nation’s International Court of Justice ruling that Azerbaijan must “take all measures within its power to ensure the free movement of persons, vehicles, and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions.”
120,000 people in Artsakh currently remain under siege and unable to receive food, medicine, or basic goods.
“Considering what happened here [in Argentina] during the last military dictatorship and the violation of human rights, it’s important to raise awareness that Turkey and Azerbaijan are not respecting human rights,” said Analian.
The commemoration of April 24 includes all the crimes against humanity that the Ottoman Empire and later Turkey committed against the Armenian people: it was the day the authorities arrested, deported, and murdered hundreds of intellectuals and community leaders.
A million and a half Armenians were massacred during the genocide, which included methods such as death walks in the Syrian desert where they suffered torture, rape, and malnutrition. The events occurred during the rule of the Young Turks in the Ottoman Empire with Talaat Pasha, Enver Pasha and Djemal Pasha at the head, and continued during the Republic of Turkey under Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk).
To this day, the Turkish State has never acknowledged their crimes nor provided any sort of reparations for the Armenian community and its diaspora.
Only 32 countries across the world have recognized the genocide, and Argentina is one of them. In 1987, President Raúl Alfonsín acknowledged the crimes that started in 1915 as a genocide. Two decades later, in 2007, the Nestor Kirchner government passed legislation that declared today as the “Day for Action for Tolerance and Respect Among Peoples”. And, in 2011, Federal Judge Oyarbide declared through a resolution that the Turkish State had committed genocide against the Armenians.
“These gestures are fundamental for the construction of memory, for the search for justice and reparation by the Armenian community in Argentina,” said Analian.
Around 120,000 members of the Armenian diaspora live in Argentina, thought to be the third biggest Armenian diaspora in the world. Today, President Alberto Fernández tweeted saluting the community and saying that he “hugs the Armenian people and its community” and that he “reaffirms his commitment to the full force and effect of human rights.”