This Wednesday, June 16, marks the 66th anniversary of a heinous massacre that marked the history of this country. Argentine Navy planes flew over the Plaza de Mayo and dropped enough bombs to kill 309 civilians, including those traveling in a bus line hit by the artillery of one of the pilots who – while his criminal associates They were already escaping to Uruguay – he decided to turn around to strike that fatal blow on a bus that was transporting children, women, men, people.

66 years ago this scribe was barely two months old. The date makes me shudder. I belong to a generation that grew up with the weight of that slaughter silenced in a thousand ways. In my case (and in my house) one hardly heard phrases like those said in passing that tangentially made reference to the bombing. At that time you couldn’t talk about politics, much less pronounce the names of Perón or Evita. I remember my mother’s evasive words when I asked her why my school books had little strips of paper covering their names. It was difficult for me to understand why Perón was spoken of as a misfortune and yet every time we traveled by bus – like the one they bombed – my mother pointed out hospitals, schools, squares, bridges, houses, and then told me: Perón did ”.

My time through high school took place in a similar scenario, I remember the fear of the teachers when expressing an opinion or expressing a comment about the tragedy that hung over this silenced town. In fact, it is enough to recall that in those times there was a subject called Democratic Education to determine the degree of prevailing cynicism. They were eighteen years of gag, repression and fear instilled in insignificant gestures, apparently inconsequential, but whose naturalization – well I know – ends up consolidating a sadistic, authoritarian, macho, crude way of relationship that infiltrates all areas and scenes from everyday life.

Then: state terrorism did nothing more than exponentially increase the cruelty that its genocidal predecessors had sown. Life made me dedicate myself to delving into the corners of my memory in my practice as a psychoanalyst, uncovering strips of paper over supposedly forgotten words. It happens that, as Lacan reminds us: “Freudian forgetting is a form of memory, its very form, the most precise”[1].

Indeed, there are unforgettable oblivions, those that under the cloak of repression are inscribed in the flesh in order to determine, in the best of cases, the world of fantasies that gives life to the mental apparatus, and in others a thrust as deadly as alienating. It is about trauma, that imprint with which a subject composes a singularity based on the repetition effects that – for better or worse – that mark imprints on his life, desires and fears. The commemorations, the dates of remembrance of facts, feats, acts, genocides, fulfill the function of repeating through the evocation that trace from which a community adopted this or that path.

Without this recollection, which involves the proper use of repetition, there is no possibility of asserting the only foundation on which social peace rests, namely: justice. It is known that in our country there are powerful interests that use hatred to erase memory, they are the same ones that today make the like an object, solidarity a calculation of convenience, cooperation a profit of petty interests and lies your main business. The footprint of the genocide flies over our history, just remember that on March 24, 1884[2] the last Ranquel chief surrendered to deduce the symbolic value that dates keep not only in a library.

These days, “Remember, repeat and rework”[3] it is more than the title of a Freudian text. It is the task to which the hour summons us so that the dates help us to be a little better.

Sergio Zabalza is a psychoanalyst. Doctor in Psychology from the University of Buenos Aires.

[1] Jacques Lacan, The Seminary: Book 12, Crucial problems of psychoanalysis, class 4 of January 6, 1965, Unpublished:


[3] Sigmund Freud, “Remember, repeat and rework”, AE Volume XIV.


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