Monday, Mar. 7, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Human rights activists from the Madres de Plaza de Mayo, an Argentine organization fighting for justice for those who disappeared during the1976-1983 state terror, will discuss their efforts during a Grinnell College visit, Mar. 16-17. The activists, who have worked for more than three decades to be re-united with the disappeared, will discuss both the history of the movement and plans for the future.

On Wed., Mar. 16, 7:30 p.m.: Kris Thalhammer, professor of political science at St. Olaf College, will provide background on the Dirty War and the human rights movement in “Mobilizing for Human Rights: Lessons Learned from the Mothers of the Plaza and Other Nonviolent Activists.”

On Thurs., Mar. 17, 11 a.m.: Carmen Lapacó and Maria Adela Antokoletz, representing the Madres, will discuss “Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo Linea Fundadora: Thirty-Four Years in the Struggle for Truth, Justice and Memory in Argentina.” At 4:15 p.m., the activists will hold a Q&A session about plans for the future of the movement. Both sessions will be interpreted Spanish to English.

The Madres de Plaza de Mayo risked their lives to organize their first public protest in 1977 in Buenos Aires, the site of Argentina’s military rule. The group has continued to meet each Thursday in the Buenos Aires’ plaza and has been pivotal in international attempts to bring military rulers to justice. Their message of peace and political strife has spread over 30-plus years to the United Nations, Amnesty International, the Vatican and beyond as they have worked on behalf of the disappeared. Their work has also inspired similar movements in Latin American countries and contributed to efforts to stop forced disappearances throughout the world.

The events, which are co-sponsored with St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., will be held in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center on the Grinnell College campus. For more information, contact Sarah Purcell,, 641-269-3091.