Jorge Julio Lopez

Thursday marked four months from the disappearance of Jorge Julio Lopez, an elderly witness who has been missing since testifying in the trial against a police official from the last dictatorship. Displayed sporadically throughout the city are posters and graffiti serving as reminders that he is still missing. Despite these efforts, there seems to be little progress in actually finding the man. A commonly accepted belief, after this much time, is that Julio Lopez is dead and his body will never be found though the government has strongly rejected any such statements by the media.

The 18th of each month brings a march down Av de Mayo from the Congreso demanding he re-appears alive.

Different causes, same faces

Thursday was another hot summer day in Buenos Aires. By late afternoon storm clouds gathered overhead. While the rain didn’t come in the downtown area, except for a few sprinkles, strong winds blew along the streets.

Jorge Julio Lopez MST

As with other marches down Av de Mayo, the participants are mostly the same despite the reason for the march. The front lines may change depending upon the cause but the majority of protesters are leftist political groups and piqueteros.

There are always the familiar faces. Go to just about any street march in Buenos Aires and you’ll see this old guy banging on the metal street posts with his little metallic stick. He makes quite a racket.

protest march in buenos aires

And as with other marches, the TV cameras, reporters, and photographers are gathered at the front of the march and waiting at Plaza de Mayo. Yet, other than the disruption in traffic – which can be very problematic for those driving or taking the bus through downtown around 6 pm – I get the sense that no one pays any attention to all these marches.