04 September 2006

Los dinosaurios

There's a 1983 song by Charly García about the times of the last dictatorship that I've always enjoyed hearing, even in its vocal and instrumental simplicity. It's called Los Dinosaurios, "The Dinosaurs" (the Ministry of Education has the lyrics). The song is calm, neither too upbeat nor too gloomy, but the lyrics do convey the impotence of those horrible days: "The friends of the neighbourhood may disappear / The radio singers may disappear / The ones in the newspapers may disappear / The person you love may disappear... / I'm not calm, my love - / Today is Saturday night / [and] a friend is in jail." But the song, in the same melody, ends with a line that is not optimistic, but of sheer peaceful intuition: "The ones in the air may disappear, in the air / The ones on the street may disappear on the street / The friends of the neighbourhood may disappear / But the dinosaurs will disappear."

The dinosaurs are pretty much still alive. Today, however, three of them came closer to the place they deserve. Albano Harguindeguy and José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz, suspect of a multitude of crimes and most surely guilty of them, got their pardons revoked and the cases against them re-opened. The pardons, which they got as an attention from our former Emperor of Filth, the Presidential Cockroach, Carlos Menem, were deemed unconstitutional by judge Norberto Oyarbide. They'll remain free for now, but they'll be investigated, as they should've been more than a decade ago. The third dinosaur, Eduardo Cabanillas, was arrested today, charged with five murders, having gotten away with them before thanks to the laws passed in 1986 and 1987 that exempted most military from prosecution (Ley de Obediencia Debida and Ley de Punto Final).

Other dinosaurs have been arrested, some convicted, most of all at least exposed. There are still many left. The new generations of Argentinians know little about them, but many are interested. The dinosaurs are disappearing, not through kidnapping and murder as they did to their victims, but slowly sinking in the quicksand of public condemnation, which views them as the murders that they are, rather than as the firm guardians of order that they pretended to be. Congratulations, Charly -- you're not only a mad genius, but a prophet.

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