* * * * * “...A MASTERPIECE”
EXCELLENT
by Miguel Russo, from Veintitrés, magazine

 “Very good ... it carries you as if through a time tunnel to the moment and the place”
by Jorge Belaunzarán, from TXT, magazine

 “...An excellent film. The Argentine film industry had never dared to do it”
by Fernando Martín Peña, from Rolling Stone, magazine

“Trelew…powerful”
by Lilian Ivachow, from Revista El Amante

 “... the narrative strength of a political thriller in the style of Costa Gavras”
by Diego Lerer, from Clarín

 “... STRONG ... the strength of the most vivid and exciting adventure story”
by Horacio Bernades, from Página /12

The shootings at Trelew

The shootings at Trelew signal the moment when the State began to reinforce its terrorist policies and moved on to terminate political opponents on a mass scale. They also trigger an equally mass-scale popular political commitment that found in the so-called “Trelew heroes” an example to follow. The names of the victims became then a banner and a rallying cry.

Prisoners at the Trelew Airport. This picture was taken after they had surrendered and given up their weapons

Prisoners at the Trelew Airport. This picture was taken after they had surrendered and given up their weapons
Dictator Agustín LanusseDictator Agustín Lanusse

This was the spirit that drove workers, students and intellectuals to participate in demonstrations organised by the Peronist Youth, other revolutionary leftist groups and class-oriented unionists such as Agustín Tosco, who had been persecuted and incarcerated together with the youths shot at Trelew.

This popular upheaval put an end to Lanusse’s dictatorship and led to the subsequent elections which took place on March 11th, 1973, were won by Héctor Cámpora and culminated in Juan Domingo Perón’s return to Argentina.

When Lanusse and the Armed Forces finally relinquished government on May 25th, 1973, posters and banners bearing the faces of the Trelew victims accompanied the people who marched along to set free the political dissidents held in prison.

Meanwhile, in their cells at Devoto Prison, the three survivors of the Trelew massacre - María Antonia Berger, Ricardo Haidar y Alberto Camps - narrated the truth about the shootings to Paco Urondo, the poet.

August 25, 1972: Mounted police repression in  Buenos Aires of those present at the wake of the dead from TrelewAugust 25, 1972: Mounted police repression in Buenos Aires of those present at the wake of the dead from Trelew

 

Political repression, however, did not disappear.

 

Paramilitary groups continued attacking the cultural, political and labour movement. The whole process led finally to a decree ordering the Armed Forces to eliminate all guerrilla groups, thus paving the way for the military dictatorship that took over the government on March 24th, 1976.

The State’s terrorist response to social unrest reached a maximum at this stage, with over 500 clandestine detention centres where people were tortured and killed, 30 000 went missing, 12 000 became political prisoners and thousands fled to exile.

The military power’ s cheat

No Navy officer accepted an interview on the events of August 22 nd. At the Adm. Zar Base

Even though censorship was absolute and journalists were persecuted, from the outset, everybody suspected who were the ones to blame for the Trelew massacre.

The Argentine Navy refused to issue a statement for this film

The military dictatorship, leaded by Brigadier General Lanusse, replied to the Rawson runaway and the popular support to the revolutionary movements with the mass assassination of sixteen political prisoners.

Until today, there has been no inquiry or legal process against those involved in the events narrated here.


Film Director: Mariana Arruti