Without freedom of thought…

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When the dictatorship started in 1976, I was 23 years old, I had just finished my degree in electrical engineering, I worked in the “Dirección de Estadísticas del gobierno de Mendoza” (Directorate of Statistics of the Government of Mendoza), and I was the trade union delegate from my coworkers and I played rugby. I mean, I was a boy like so many others in my country. I had a favorable economic situation, my political thought was to embrace the cause of Peronism, that was summarized in three postulates: Social justice, political sovereignty and economic independence. I participated in a political group called “Juventud trabajadora peronista” (Youth worker Peronist), for being an activist of this cause I was arrested together with 10 other partners and taken to dungeons where we were blindfolded and tied, both we men and the women partners, even one of them with her 1 month old baby girl.

We were savagely tortured and beaten, including the death to blows of one… Miguel Ángel Gil, he was an employee of the “Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica” (National Atomic Energy Commission). After 15 days in that conditions, we were taken to the judge who saw in the state that we were, especially the girls who were half-naked and we (mens) barefoot only with pants. Nevertheless, he did nothing…

I was almost 7 years in different prisons in Argentina, where they put all the political prisoners. After almost 40 years of that, that judge and others where condemned for the justice of democracy to life imprisonment, and today they are prisoners along with the military and politicians as accomplices of crimes against humanity. I had the honor to testify as a witness for more than 3 hours, reporting everything that happened at that time. Many of my partners in political activity women and men, did not arrive in jail and remain missing. Well, my regards and greetings to the teachers and classmates.

– Guido Esteban Actis.

Mendoza, Argentina.

This person is from my family, he never told me that he lived in the jail, when I learned about the dictatorship of Argentina, and know that the police send to the people to jail for having different thoughts, my mom tell me that he and her wife had meet in the jail, and I asked why, and she say me because of the dictatorship. We still meeting with him and her sons and wife, and when I go to that meetings, I learn a lot of things, they make a lot of debate. I ask him about when he was in the jail, and then make this post.

This March 24, it is commemorated the “Día de la Memoria” (Day of the Memory), this day is not to celebrate, is a day to remember all the woman and men that are still missing, and the people that died.


  • “woow” I was surprised when you said, “was 23 years old.” Matias !! I loved your different style of writing which’s made me continue reading, keep going because you’re doing a great job.

  • Wow!! I was really suprised when I read,”I was 27 years old.” This was the reason why I kept reading. I like you style. You’re doing great!! Keep it up!!

  • Wow, Matías, it’s really special that you got to hear this incredible story directly from him. As I said in response to your other “Time of Terror” post, I have learned a little about this dictatorship and other similar times in other countries, but it’s still really powerful to read the real experiences of someone who lived through it! I love that you didn’t know much about what he’d been through until you asked. Please tell him that we appreciate his story, and I will be thinking of him and all the “desaparecidos” tomorrow!

    • I’m going to say him that you appreciate his story, and that you are going to think in all the people that had been disappear, it is good to know the truth of what happen, we can remember all of that by the memories that the people share with others. Even I know a family that her daughter it doesn’t know his fathers because of this dictatorship, and she wants to know his reals parents, even if they are dead. And she is angry with his adoptive parents for some reason that I don’t know. The last thing that I’m going to say is “Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo.”

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