Rev. Dr. Karin Achtelstetter (WACC General Secretary) and Mr. Alvito De Souza (Secretary General of SIGNIS-World) announced the award at a joint meeting held April 2, 2012, at the global office of WACC in Toronto, Canada.
In 1976 a coup d’état by the Armed Forces forcibly removed the constitutional government of Argentina, replacing it with a policy of terror and repression of human rights. In just a few years, this policy resulted in a spiral of hidden and silent violence that led to the murder of more than 30,000 citizens of all ages and classes. Euphemistically labelled the “disappeared”, they included small children and babies who saw the light of day in prisons of the military dictatorship and were subsequently stolen by their captors and registered as other people’s children.
Verdades verdaderas tells part of this history “from the perspective of Estela de Carlotto, recounting the experiences and searching of a wife, mother, and grandmother, the struggle for justice, reconciliation, and reuniting. It serves as an example for everyone who has suffered loss, not just family losses on account of the military dictatorship, but any kind of unjust loss.”
Estela de Carlotto was a keynote speaker at WACC’s Congress 2001, which took the theme of “Communication for Reconciliation”. Describing public response to the work of the Grandmothers, she said:
“Our country finds itself in a state of constant deliberation over the need to let justice take its course so that those who were directly responsible for crimes are accused and sentenced. In this sense ‘judgements for truth’ are being carried out, legal actions that take place in camera and allow those proven responsible for violations of human rights to be questioned. This creates spaces for public thinking and knowledge about the fate of the disappeared and has a concrete effect on the exercise of memory.”
The media play a key role in the articulation of public memory and, where it has been repressed, in its recovery. Verdades verdaderas (True truths) helps set the record straight and is a tribute to Estela de Carlotto’s courage, tenacity, and humanity.
Verdades verdaderas (True truths) Argentina, 2011 / 96 min. / Colour / Director: Nicolás Gil Lavedra / Producer: Fernando Sokolowicz / Script: María Laura Gargarella y Jorge Maestro / Cinematography: Hugo Colace / Editing: Alberto Ponce / Music: Nicolás Sorín / With Susú Pecoraro, Alejandro Awada, Inés Efron, Laura Novoa.