On the 26th of May, in the context of the Heritage Week in Chile that is celebrated every year that month, a discussion was held on the application of the ESMA Museum and Site of Memory to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The event featured Alejandra Naftal, executive director of the Museum, Rafael Bielsa, Ambassador of the Argentine Republic in Chile, and Francisco Estévez Valencia, Director of the Museum of Memory and Human Rights of Chile.
Bielsa gave the opening speech, which revolved around highlighting the relevance of regional cooperation to achieve international visibility of the crimes committed during the Condor Plan. “Places like the ESMA Museum and Site of Memory have a restorative role for those who lived through the horror, but also the generational challenge of trying to get the young people of the future to learn about what happened,” said the ambassador.
For his part, Estévez Valencia elaborated on the experiences of the Museum of Memory and Human Rights of Chile in advocating memory and stated: “Argentina’s application represents a fundamental step on the path taken by this country that stands out for its fight for Memory, Truth and Justice”. The official promised to support the application because “the right to Memory is a human right and the duty to remember is a principle of responsibility.”
“The Museum is a testimony and a symbol of State terrorism based on the forced disappearance of people and also of the value of persuasion and social consensus as a means to achieve justice. The candidacy to UNESCO is based on giving visibility to these values and that is why in regional matters we have a lot of work ahead of us. To protect this space is to protect our democracies”, Naftal pointed out.