IACHR Press Office
Washington, D.C. — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will be launching the "Women at the ESMA" Exhibition on March 1, 2023, at 3:00 pm. The event will be attended by representatives of the IACHR and the ESMA Memory Site Museum in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and will take place in the Marcus Garvey Room of the OAS main building in Washington, DC.
"This exhibition is an opportunity to reflect on the differentiated impacts that women experience during dictatorships and armed conflicts, and to discuss the importance of the gender approach during processes of truth, memory, and justice," said IACHR President Julissa Mantilla Falcón.
This cultural initiative analyzes how the Escuela Mecánica de la Armada (Navy Mechanics School, ESMA) operated as a clandestine detention, torture, and extermination center during Argentina's last civilian-military dictatorship (1976–1983). The exhibition focuses on women's own experiences and includes testimonies from survivors that reveal the different forms of gender-based violence they experienced and the initiatives of care and resistance they implemented. The exhibition also includes information on the IACHR's historic visit to the Clandestine Detention Center at the ESMA in 1979.
In the words of the Executive Secretary, Tania Reneaum, "This cultural initiative, which takes the form of an exhibition, is an opportunity to engage with human rights in a way that goes beyond the merely legal aspects, and to learn about the life stories that underpin our work from another angle."
This initiative commemorates March 8, International Women's Day, and March 24, International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims.
The "Women at the ESMA" exhibition will be accessible in Spanish and English and will be open to the public free of charge during March, by appointment. To request an appointment, please email us at [email protected].
A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.