Fwd: Pool report 3 - Parque de la Memoria

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From: Andrew BEATTY >
Date: March 24, 2016 at 11:03:34 AM GMT-3
To: "Desiree N. Barnes" >
Subject: Pool report 3 - Parque de la Memoria

After a roughly 10 min motorcade ride we pulled to a stop on a esplanade looking on to the Rio de la Plata.

We stood before a grey stone memorial wall that follows a sloping walkway down toward the river.

Thin rectangular plaques were inscribed with names of victims, the year they became victims and their age.

Toward the end of the wall there was a larger plaque which bore a message in Spanish, which was very difficult to read from your poolers position. But it spoke about the victims of state terror, the detained, dissappeared and assassinated.

POTUS and Macri appeared at the top of the sloped walkway and walked slowly down beside the wall toward the river, speaking to each other and gesturing.

Near the end of the wall the stopped and conversed with guide for around five minutes. Your pool could not hear what was said, but the guide did at one stage appear to translate the plaque.

POTUS and Macri then walked beyond the wall and onto a bridgehead. They took three white roses each walked to the end barrier and tossed them into the river. They then stood for a moment with their heads bowed.

We moved inside and POTUS made remarks before a podium. He alluded to the US role in the dirty war, saying each country "has to examine it's own policies" and instances when "we have been slow to speak out for human rights."

POTUS repeated that he will declassify military and intellegence documents that could throw more light on what happened.

"A memorial like this speaks the responsiblity that we all have" he said.

"We cannot forget the past."

At the end of Obama's remarks there was applause from officials gathered and Macri spoke then spoke. He thanked POTUS for joining him here on the 40th anniversary of the military coup to remeber this painful time in our history.

Fuller quotes to follow.

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