The ESMA Museum and Site of Memory is a historical monument, a proof of State Terrorism, and legal evidence of the crimes against humanity committed in Argentina.

Located on one of the main avenues of the city of Buenos Aires, the building of the Officers’ Club was the core of repression at the Clandestine Center of Detention, Torture and Extermination. Between 1976 and 1983, this building had two functions: it was an area of leisure and rest for high-ranking Navy officers and, at the same time, a prison for the detained-disappeared.

The ESMA was an emblematic Clandestine Center in South America. Due to its size, its location in an urban center, the co-existence of naval officers and the detained-disappeared, and its unique concentration features of imprisonment and extermination, its role transcended its own borders and transformed it into a heritage of outstanding universal value.

The conservation of the Officers’ Club is the result of hard work by many human rights organizations that fought for its preservation for more than 40 years. The same organizations that were the first to denounce that ESMA functioned as a clandestine center now promote all sorts of actions to preserve it.

On May 19th, 2015, after years of debates and votes, the ESMA Museum and Site of Memory was inaugurated with a permanent exhibition. Given its status as judicial evidence, the museum has not altered the building from the state in which they received it. The museum’s content was created primarily through the testimonies of survivors from the 1985 Trial of the Juntas and the trials for crimes against humanity that were reopened in 2004.

Today, ESMA is a place that denounces State terrorism and helps foster cultural memory. Its mission is to contribute to the knowledge, experience, and understanding of human rights violations committed by the Argentine State, promoting a dialogue within and between generations in the present and towards the future.

The Museum is currently on the Tentative List to become a Unesco World Heritage Site.