Raul Alfonsín was a lawyer and humans right activist who represented families of the disappeared during the dictatorship, risking his own life. As Argentine president (1983-1989) he prosecuted the military junta, legalized divorce, promoted national literacy, freed the film industry from repressive legislation, signed a peace treaty with Chile, and supported the Sandinistas. Since his death last night my entire neighborhood has been thronged with mourners come to pay him their respects in the Parliament building around the corner.
"My message to the young has always been: don't follow men, follow ideas. Men pass on, ideas remain. They are the torches that keep democracy alive. Democracy is the home we all share."
"Sigan a ideas, no sigan a hombres, fue y es siempre mi mensaje a los jóvenes. Los hombres pasan, las ideas quedan y se transforman en antorchas que mantienen viva a la política democrática. La democracia que tenemos es nuestra casa común."
raúl alfonsín (march 12, 1927-march 30, 2009)