Today days the Plaza de Mayo is the focal point for any protest against the government or otherwise. Most recently, protests have been held about the President of Argentina Mauricio Macri.
Every Thursday at 3:30pm, the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo march around the Plaza de Mayo in their continued efforts to raise awareness of their family members who were ‘disappeared’ in the 1970s by the military junta (known as the Dirty War).
Reports vary as to the number of the ‘disappeared’ but could be as many as 30,000 people who were identified as being opposed to the military junta government and were therefore ‘dealt’ with by the government. The Madres de la Plaza de Mayo are still searching for information on their missing loved ones, as are the children who were left behind.
The Thursday march consists of banners and flags with the symbol of the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo, lasting about half an hour. The March first started on 30 April 1977 when 14 mothers whose children had disappeared in the Dirty War demanding to know what had happened to the missing children.
They had initially tried to meet with the de facto president at the time but when they were not able to do so, they decided to March around the square. Although the government denied knowledge of any wrongdoing, claiming that the children had simply gone away of their own accord, the mothers continued to March every week with their iconic white handkerchiefs, choosing Thursday afternoon as a day when a large number of people pass through the square.
They were in fact the first group to openly oppose the military junta, setting an example for other groups to protest. In 1986 the Madres split into two groups, with one group continuing to March every Thursday (Madres de Plaza de Mayo Linea Fundadora) and the other group (Asociacion Madres de Plaza de Mayo) choosing not to do so.