The President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, toured the ESMA Museum and Site of Memory on June 9 as part of his visit to Argentina. He was welcomed by the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Martín Soria, and the Secretary of Human Rights, Horacio Pietragalla Corti. Together with the executive director of the Museum, Alejandra Naftal, the president took a guided tour of the place and learned the details of the institution’s application for the UNESCO World Heritage List.

«What we saw here has inspired us, because our country has not reached the consensus that you have here on Memory and Never Again. In Spain we are fighting for the Democratic Memory Bill and there are people who delegitimize it, who measure it in terms of spending resources. I have a deep respect for this space and for the work you do for memory and I wish you much encouragement with the task that lies ahead,” said Sánchez.

“We are proud to show President Sánchez the resignification of this place and this property. Here, where horror used to prevail, this Museum is operating today, which is the best way to understand one of the most widespread consensuses of Argentine democracy, such as the Memory, Truth and Justice policy, and also the Human Rights Secretariat that enforces those highly respected State policies”, added Minister Soria, who joined the Spanish President during the visit.

For his part, Pietragalla Corti said that “it is very important that political leaders from all over the world get to know this emblematic place. The Memory, Truth and Justice policy is a hallmark of our country. From the Human Rights Secretariat we are in contact with Human Rights organizations from all over the world that look to Argentina as a beacon because our trial process is unique. The Secretary explained to the Spanish President the main lines of work regarding public policies related to Human Rights.

In addition to the tour —which included survivor Silvia Labayrú and Graciela Lois, representing the organizations of the Board of Directors of the Public Entity Space for Memory Ex ESMA— the Museum’s work team provided the president with the details of the application to the UNESCO program that preserves heritage assets that have outstanding universal value.

“Welcoming the Spanish president is a milestone for our Museum and for our work team. We were able to exchange experiences around the diverse processes that both countries have been carrying out in relation to Memory. I felt that he was very involved with the tour”, Naftal finally expressed. Salomé Grunblatt, director of Institutional Relations, and Mauricio Cohen Salama and Mayki Gorosito, General Coordinator of the Work Plan and Coordinator of International Cooperation of the UNESCO candidacy, also participated on behalf of the Museum.

Sánchez visited the former ESMA together with the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism María Reyes Maroto Illera, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean Cristina Gallach Figueras, the Spanish Ambassador to Argentina Francisco Javier Sandomingo Núñez, and part of the delegation that joined him on his trip to the country.