If you’re wondering what happened in Buenos Aires to encourage the development of luxury buildings based on literature, the answer is simple – Money. The story of Buenos Aires and Argentina in general is one of rags to riches back to rags.
In a nutshell early in the 20th century Argentina became the world’s 7th richest country but since then it has slowly declined with remaining among the top 15 world economies around the 1950s but now only being classified as just an upper middle-income country. Its greatest troubles are credited to high inflation (between 10-25% in 2013 depending on what source you trust (official Government figures of privately estimated statistics), political insecurity through most of the 1900s and lots of economic turmoil including unequal income distribution (which could explain all the strikes in Argentina.)
MADRES DE LA PLAZA DE MAYO (Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo)
The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo is an association of Argentine mothers whose children disappeared during the military dictatorship, between 1976 and 1983. They came together while trying to learn what had happened to their children, and began to march in 1977 at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, in front of the Presidential palace in public defiance of the government's state terrorism intended to silence all opposition.
The military has admitted that over 9,000 of those kidnapped are still unaccounted for, but the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo say that the number of missing is closer to 30,000. Most are presumed dead. An estimated 500 of the missing are grandchildren born in concentration camps or prisons to pregnant 'disappeared' women; the babies were given in illegal adoptions to military families and others associated with the regime. Their mothers were generally believed killed. The numbers are hard to determine due to the secrecy surrounding the abductions.
She was a legend and what most people know about her is that she was Argentina’s beloved first lady who died of cancer at the young age of 33. What most people don’t know about her is the reason she is still loved in the eyes of many in Argentina and beyond. In my time there I had her being described as an angel, a saint and after reading up a lot on her I see why the people loved and still love her.
Eva was born the last of 5 children in rural Argentina. She moved to Buenos Aires at the age of 15 to pursue a career as a stage, radio, and film actress. She met Colonel Juan Peron in 1944, two years before he became the President of Argentina. She was a proponent for labor rights, championed women’s suffrage in Argentina (resulting in women getting the right to vote in 1947.) She fought for the rights of the poor, the orphaned, the jobless. She fought for the rights of illegitimate children who were marginalized by Argentinian law. She herself was the result of a relationship between her very poor mother and a wealthy rancher who had a family of his own. She grew up stigmatized by the abandonment by her father who had returned to his legal wife and family. She grew up branded a “bastard.” At the age of 15 she ran off from her poverty stricken village with a musician to Buenos Aires to seek a better life. In Buenos Aires she suffered as she had little formal education and no connections. She eventually managed to rise up the ranks of media and have a stable income and an apartment of her own.
It was at this time that she met and fell in love with the future President of Argentina. They met during a fundraiser for an earthquake that had killed 10,000 people. He had organized to have a sort of artistic festival as the fundraiser and she was one of the artists in attendance.
This rise from rags to riches and all her charitable work and support for the downtrodden in Argentina coupled with her early death result in the love that Argentinians have for her. It would be a few days before I would see young Argentinians wail at her burial site in Recoleta cemetery – even though she had been dead for over half a century.