Monday, October 7, 2019

While The Vatican Parties: Argentinian founding father recast as genocidal murderer

history justice indigenous genocide eugenics landowners fascism environment Argentina

For a century it was a name to inspire schoolchildren: Julio Argentino Roca, the military hero and statesman who tamed Patagonia's wilderness and made Argentina a modern nation.

He was George Washington and Abraham Lincoln rolled into one, a founding father who gazed from banknotes, adorned plinths and gave his name to avenues from Buenos Aires to Santa Cruz.

But maybe not for much longer. Avenues are being renamed and there is a campaign to topple the former president's statues, erase him from banknotes and teach children a new version: that Roca was a genocidal murderer who brought shame to Argentina.

The man portrayed for generations as a talented visionary has been recast, according to revisionist history, as a villain who exterminated indigenous communities and their culture from much of South America.

Critics say his "conquest of the desert", once hailed for uniting Argentina and rebuffing Chile in 1878-79, was a barbaric campaign which bathed the nascent state in innocent blood.  (more...)


Idolize the land, exterminate the inhabitants.

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