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Words in Memory of Alberto “Pocho” Mechoso

category argentina / uruguay / paraguay | repression / prisoners | news report author Thursday January 03, 2013 04:05author by Jon - 1 of Anarkismo Editorial Group Report this post to the editors

Hundreds and hundreds of people came together on 28 December at the Ateneo del Cerro in Montevideo, Uruguay for the receiving of the remains of Alberto “Pocho” Mechoso, detained and disappeared in Argentina in 1976.

A long march accompanied Pocho’s family, friends and comrades – old, young and not-so-old... a whole people, a neighbourhood that was present to the cry of “Arriba los que luchan!”. [Castellano]


First of all, I want to give my fraternal greetings to all who are with us today. We also want to inform you of a few things and say a few words.

Notification from the Argentine Anthropological Team

They said about my father: “This skeleton is part of the eight that were exhumed archeologically on October 19, 1989 from graves 73 and 75 of the Municipal Cemetery of San Fernando (Buenos Aires province), located in the town of Virreyes... It dealt with exhuming the eight people whose bodies appeared on October 14, 1976 in San Fernando Channel, recovered by the Coast Guard and buried as N.N. [No Name - translator] in the respective Municipal Cemetery. Blood samples of Beatriz Elizabeth MECHOSO CASTELLONESE, Alberto José MECHOSO CASTELLONESE and Beatriz Inés CASTELLONESE TECHERA, children and spouse respectively of Alberto Cecilio MECHOSO MENDEZ, were received from the Oriental Republic of Uruguay in the framework of the Latin American Initiative for the Identification of Desaparecidos (Iniciativa Latinoamericana para la Identificación de Desaparecidos–ILID). The samples were sent to Bode Technology Group (Bode) and EAAF-LIDMO laboratories to analyse autosomal DNA markers. They thereby obtained specific genetic profiles that, on being compared with the profile extracted from a sample of skeleton VIR-101, allowed us to establish the biological relationship between these people.

Based on the results obtained from the anthropological study and genetic analyses, we conclude that the skeletal remains studied, known as VIR-101, correspond to Alberto Cecilio MECHOSO MENDEZ, born November 1, 1936 in the Department of Flores in the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, C.I. 956.404-7, disappeared on September 26, 1976 as recorded in file CNDP 7109.”

At this point in my life I have a clear idea of who my father was and what he wanted. My father grew up in these neighbourhoods, Cerro and La Teja. In them he heard and saw the labour struggles, social conditions and brutal beating of workers. A modest and sensible man, he did not remain indifferent to the plight of his people, of those at the bottom. He soon joined the struggle and shared his ideals of social transformation and the need for the construction of an order based on other totally different values. He fought for those ideals until the very end.

He knew what he fought for and the enemy he faced, and was conscious as to what combatting the enemy of those at the bottom meant. His experience added to that of the unveiled face of capitalism that, through all its anti-people hatred in those years of brutal cruelty, covered the whole of society. There he was, like so many, confronted with his daily struggle and unwavering conviction against the beast that had dropped into the arena. And he knew that beast intimately. He was brutally tortured. He felt how they tortured other comrades and how they raped women; all of which amply confirmed what the soul of the enemy was. He escaped from one of those barracks where the beasts butchered those who struggled with impunity. He escaped only to request a battle station in his organisation. The struggle to change this heinous system remained for him the central task. He said in his letter, “What other path is there? Given all this, how is life worth living? ... There is only one path, there is only one way to live without shame: fighting. By helping rebellion spread everywhere...”.

In this “everywhere” his anti-imperialism and people’s self-determination was present. Of course; no troops to Congo or Haiti.

There are customs, a culture, political intentions today that these moments also serve to turn the page; an individual’s wake, putting an end to a situation.

But no, the pain does not cloud the fact that a fist is visible to anyone who wants to see it. In this sense we are not watching anything, we are not turning the page nor ending anything. We are here accompanying a life and not a death. A life of dedication, full of hope for a better world. These beloved bones are screaming: Everything continues, all the struggling done, the ideals championed; the aspiration to continue firmly, without wavering is the only path that leads to true emancipation. This struggle for total change has as its compass a just, free and solidary society that, today as yesterday, is worth everything. It only requires adjusting to new historical conditions. As such, this is an ode to life and to struggle. To a better life in a better society that has nothing to do with this one.

My nephew Lolo was clear on fundamental things. This has been a long period dressed in much infamy, much protection of impunity in different ways – at times blatantly and others with deceitful subtleties. From the so-called return to democracy today the impunity in the horror has, one way or another, overall, been sheltered.

But there was a sensitive and tenacious perseverance on the part of the people, especially the constant work of the Families, which we know were not alone, but who tirelessly kept the torch of reclamation alight. Today, neither the liars nor those who were afraid to believe can deny the horrific recent past.

We care to know the whole truth, that people know what happened and to raise awareness of what the system has in its bowels. There are a few torturers and murderers in prison but this is just a hint of the truth. How much, how much to whitewash just a little? Enough cynicism and politicking. What existed and will continue to exist is systemic terrorism; the state which, without a doubt, played its macabre role that has been articulated throughout the dominant power structure – the capitalist system.

This state terrorism mentioned is part of a general politics of the system. Politics that operate differently according to stages and social contexts. As part of this murderous cruelty that we mention it is clearly implicit that it carried out a process to make way for a model: neoliberalism. That which the people have suffer and continue to do so. A model that is and continues to be more for the rich and powerful and less, until the terrible misery of the world of those at the bottom. So, if we consider in its proper perspective the macabre dimension of the situation experienced it leaves no doubt as to the vast amount of direct responsibility that there is in turn.

Today it is more than clear. It is not something isolated as they said or insinuated ridiculously. It’s the empire, it’s the Condor Plan. There is a Kissinger at the head, supporting and coordinating assassinations and, at times, massacres. Yes, the organs of the empire were present yesterday as they are today, giving courses in torture and death, targeting combatants and teaching techniques of strong repression and of fear for entire peoples. For large and small saturation projects.

And they want more of the same. Today there are bloody interventions in distinct places, some directly as in Iraq and Afghanistan and others through NATO, to which must be added organised or encouraged destabilisation and chains of places of torture around the world.

The events that occurred here were in that design. For our people this will never end up paying. We will not forgive nor forget. Here, forgiveness is synonymous with complicity and resignation, and so the best and most authentic way of remembering our comrades is to continue the struggle, the ideas for which they fell. To continue without compromise, with the strength such as the enemy we face demands. There is nothing better than to administer the system, in the best way possible, for those at the top to keep them happy and to preserve them.

Yes. They carried out selections, atrocities, torture, rape and vile death for active opponents. Here they had the beasts that could implement the policies that such a rapacious and miserable system wanted. Here were the mechanisms of death, capable of any bestiality possible: willing and trained for it. Here was this deplorable collective subject; useless, cowardly, capable of unimaginable infamies – the subject produced by a system within an institution and which has a precise function and place in this structure of domination based on violence.

This whole institutional set of diverse mechanisms that created and recreated the system from its origin was directed to form the kind of society where the few, very few, had everything and the great majority, those at the bottom, had nothing or only what is essential for survival. Mechanisms that constitute an entire network of violence, including the legal, cultural, ideological and economic. A sinister mesh ensuring its reproduction.

But the people were not and did not remain passive and submissive. Often staggering, equally erupting; a sentiment of justice and freedom feeding their dreams. They will never kill the hope of the people and the militants. What is coming will not be easy to face, but the easiest path is almost always the worst in this arena.

Pocho surrendered himself entirely for a cause of true justice, for socialism and freedom, for a new world. And Pocho is all those who persevere in this dream and struggle. We know there were many, with different ideological shades, who gave total commitment in pursuit of what they believed. We can’t mention them all but we can comprehend them in the names of a few fighters like: León Duarte, Gerardo Gatti, Elena Quinteros, Raúl Sendic, Hugo Cores, Idilio de León, Nuble Yic, Julio Castro or Santa Romero. In the memory and struggle of everyday life they will always be present.

Brother and comrade Pocho will always be present in the midst of our struggle and our dreams.

Arriba los que luchan!

Translation: Jonathan P., ZACF



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