Starting today, if you search for “Factory Ford” on Google a red droplet located in the plant that the automaker has in General Pachecho and the legend “Site of Memory” will appear among the first results that the search engine throws up. digital signage in Google Maps of clandestine centers that, like the Ford plant, were the scene of crimes against humanity during the last dictatorship is the goal achieved in a proposal from the Secretary of Human Rights of the Nation and company commitment. Together with Ford, there are fifteen places that are already registered in the most used geolocation platform in the world under a category that was specially created for those places: spaces and memory sites. But there will be many more over the months.
The Secretary of Human Rights of the Nation, Horacio Pietragalla Corti, highlighted the unprecedented experience in the world as “the expression that everything is never said, that we must continue trying to open paths in matters of Memory, Truth and Justice as the Mothers and Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo taught us.” The link between the secretariat led by Pietragalla Corti and Google emerged several months ago, within the framework of the various strategies that the public administration area deployed and continues to deploy to make visible the crimes of State terrorism between 1976 and 1983.
The contact began with the intention of the Secretariat to register on the search engine map the clandestine detention, torture and extermination centers that are marked throughout the country as sites of memory or those that even function as spaces of memory and promotion. from the human rights. They are about 230 in totalUntil now.
In the work meetings, Google redoubled the bet and proposed the creation of a new category of “points of interest” –the points identified on the Google map, which can be businesses, monuments, government and historical buildings, among others– called “Memory Sites and Spaces”. The category did not exist before. “It was born from this project,” he stressed. Eleanor RabinovichSenior Manager of Public Policies and Government Affairs of Google Southern Cone, in exclusive dialogue with Page 12.
commitment to memory
These days, Google and its power to keep information and data in the collective memory is in full legal discussion in Argentina based on the lawsuit that Natalia de Negri imposed on the firm with the aim of having her name deindexed from a series of articles that link it to the Cóppola case and that will be defined by the Supreme Court. Google has that power, yes. And in the framework of the work with the Secretary of Human Rights of the Nation, it is an advantage. “It is putting these places on the map with the symbolic load that this has”considered Rabinovich, who listed among the positive points of the initiative “disseminating and guaranteeing better access to information for Argentines and all the people of the world who want to visit and learn about these sites and spaces.”
In this sense, for Pietragalla Corti, the articulation between the Secretariat and Google is “important”. “in an experience that institutionalizes a policy that transcended the State itself from its inception”. “That Google can embrace this cause breaks a barrier for the entire Argentine and world society to be able to bridge distances,” he continued. For Rabinovich, the company’s contribution “in a unique project in the world is very special because of what it means for the collective memory of our country”.
Points of interest
As of today, Google Maps will be used to search for restaurants, hotels, museums, schools, as well as sites and spaces of memory throughout the entire territory of our country. The objective, which will be completed over time, is that each former clandestine center or place that was linked to the crimes of the last dictatorship and is marked in its physical existence has its correlate on the virtual map of the platform from of its geographical location and its identification with the new category. Thus, the usual poster that is installed in each of these places, the concretion of one of the most active lines of public policies in matters of memory, truth and justice, will have its replica in the digital reality.
The use of the tool will allow the signaling and grouping of all these sites and memory spaces under the brand new homonymous label, but, in addition, the facilitation of the search for information on each of these places. Each site or memory space identified in the geolocation platform will offer users the full name of the place, contact details (if any) address, a description of what happened there, the website (if any). Like each “point of interest” on Google Maps, it is linked to other pre-existing information on the Internet about the place and, in addition, users can make inquiries and add reviews, photos and recommendations. All this information will be managed by the Secretary of Human Rights.
“For Google it is important as a private company and as a technology platform to make a tool as powerful as Google Maps available to contribute to a historic struggle not to forget, to make visible and to educate the new generations within the framework of the construction of a historical memory projected into the futureRabinovich remarked.
In this sense, Pietragalla Corti highlighted the power of the tool, above all to be able to “Bring new generations closer to what happened 45 years ago. We are very concerned about how we can arouse the interest of these new generations 45 years after an event for which we are still paying consequences and Google Maps is a facilitator of knowledge and a generator of familiarity with young people through the internet”, he explained.
pilot and after
As a pilot experience, 15 memory sites and spaces have already been registered, including the Ford Factory, the San Martín Cemetery, the 9th Infantry Regiment in Corrientes, Campo de Mayo, the site where the Palomitas Massacre occurred, in Salta; the former Legislature of San Juanand the Memory Spaces that function under the custody of the Directorate of Memory Sites and Spaces of the Secretariat: ESIM, La escuelita de Famaillá, Automotores Orletti, Olimpo, Club Atlético and Virrey Cevallos. Over time, the others marked will be added.
The selection of this first stage was carried out by the Secretariat, with the aim that the sample be representative not only of the federal nature of terrorism but also of the spectrum of participation and complicity in crimes. Thus, a place was chosen where the murder of political prisoners took place; a cemetery where victims of the last dictatorship were buried irregularly; a policestation; two regiments in charge of dependencies of the Armed Forces; an Intelligence site, where kidnappings of militants were collected and planned; a company and a penitentiary unit.