Saturday, 3 November 2012

Argentina/Peru: Movadef meets Madres

This is a rather odd intersection of two of this blog's main interests. I was surprised to see news stories appearing about how Movadef, the pro-Shining Path movement which supports an amnesty for senderista prisoners, had met with representatives of the Argentine Madres de Plaza de Mayo and with Nobel Peace Prize winner, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel.

The Peruvian government and media have both responded angrily to the meeting, as it lends legitimacy to a group allied to terrorism. I haven't been able to find coverage in the Argentine press or statements from the human rights group itself, so I'm not clear how much this meeting was planned in advance and was its exact purpose was. Peruvian prosecutor Julio Galindo suggests that Movadef essentially just showed up and surprised the Argentines, but he doesn't seem to know this for certain. It would, however, not be the first time that the Madres' connections have caused controversy.

Pérez Esquivel's website now contains a statement explaining that he listened to Movadef "as he has many other organizations from the continent and the world" and pointing out that "listening does not equal support". This is true, of course. I assume that for Movadef, however, there was an interest in contact with a highly respected individual, and a group, from the human rights scene and that they are pleased with the resulting publicity (which, you could argue, I am now contributing to as well). Now they are a group active on an international scale! Overall, I don't think this is a massive deal, but it will be interesting to see how they try to capitalise on the publicity and it's also a good illustration of how people try to get close to the Madres for their own purposes.

Movadef en Argentina: Premio Nobel de la Paz y Madres de Plaza de Mayo recibieron a prosenderistas (El Comercio)
Peru reminds Argentina Shinning [sic] Path terrorists are an illegal group (Mercopress)
Gobierno rechaza actividades del Movadef en Argentina (Peru21)
El Movadef sorprendió a Madres de la Plaza de Mayo y a premio Nobel de La Paz, afirmó procurador (El Comercio)

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