April 25, 2018 - 12:42 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Armenian community of Argentina marked the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide with a rally and an act in front of the residence of the Turkish Ambassador in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a rally in Cordoba province, Agencia Prensa Armenia reports.
"We are very pleased with today's mobilization. The demonstrations in Buenos Aires in front of diplomatic representations of Turkey began in the 1980s, with a small group of militants from our institution. Today the Armenian community as a whole joins this. We also had broad support from the entire political circle and civil society organizations, which gives us more strength to continue our struggle for recognition and reparation of the Armenian Genocide," said Brenda Kechiyan, one of the leaders of Armenian Youth Federation of South America.
"After 103 years, Turkey continues to execute a negationist state policy with impunity. They try to misrepresent the facts, violate the right of freedom of expression and pressure in various international spheres to hide the truth," said the representatives of the community's youth institutions during the ceremony held in front of the residence of the Turkish diplomat.
"Unlike countries such as Turkey and Azerbaijan, Argentina is a pioneering country in the world in terms of human rights, which is why it has recognized the Armenian Genocide in the three branches of government, establishing April 24 as the 'Day of action for tolerance and respect among peoples' in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide," they added in their speech.
"Fighting for the truth has to do with fighting denial, which is the way crime is perpetrated over time," said Deputy Brenda Austin, one of the speakers in the event who also served as election observer in the vote for the constitutional referendum of 2017 in the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). "The Armenian people are a symbol of resistance, brotherhood, solidarity and irrevocable identity," added Austin.
"How is it possible that the Turks under the disguise of globalization, soap operas and academic cooperation install themselves here? Why do we need to have an Armenian community to remind the universities that this is wrong and that behind that there is a denialist policy?", asked Anahit Aharonian, the daughter of Nubar Aharonian, who was the Parliament Secretary in the Armenian Republic of 1918. She arrived to Uruguay as refugee and was kidnapped in 1973 by the Uruguayan civic-military dictatorship.
Prior to the march, the President of the Argentine Senate, Federico Pinedo, said that "the Armenian Genocide was the first genocide of the twentieth century" during an act in the Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral.
Khatchik DerGhougassian, president of IARA (Armenian Institutions of the Argentine Republic), a space that brings together all the institutions of the Armenian community of the country, read a letter sent by President Mauricio Macri that said that this was "a day of reflection for all humanity" and emphasized the importance of "understanding that we must continue working to build peaceful societies where there is no room for prejudice and discrimination".
"The recognition of the genocide requires a very strong commitment, which is the fight against denialism, against attempts to review history and create post-truth. This commitment is very strong in the Armenian community. We will continue to build memory", closed DerGhougassian.
Argentina formally recognizes the Genocide through Law 26,199, which declares on April 24 of every year as "Day of action for tolerance and respect among peoples", in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.