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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 January 2006, 07:34 GMT
Last march for Argentine mothers
Hebe de Bonafini (l) leads the Buenos Aires march
The marchers' advancing years are a factor in the decision to stop
The group of mothers of the disappeared in Argentina is holding its final 24-hour protest march after 25 years.

Between 10,000 and 30,000 people were killed or disappeared during military governments in the 1970s and 80s.

The leader of the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo said they would still hold weekly silent vigils to demand information on their children's whereabouts.

She said their "resistance protests" were over because they no longer had an enemy in the presidential palace.

Hebe de Bonafini was referring to the good relations the group enjoys with President Nestor Kirchner who has done much to revoke the immunity from prosecution of former military leaders.

Mr Kirchner has "opened doors and done things we could never have hoped for," she told EFE news agency, denying the movement had changed or abandoned its principles.

"First we had dictatorship, then those who sold the country, who negotiated," she told Clarin newspaper before the march.

"Now, we are now experiencing a very interesting political moment in the country and also at Latin American level. Those who can't see it are blind."

Step by step

Wednesday's day-long protest began at 1800 (2100 GMT), 25 years after the annual 24-hour demonstration began.

A quarter of a century after they started protesting, the women's ages have also become a factor in their decision to stop marching.

As the marchers got moving, clutching photographs of lost loved ones, some required help walking along the protest route.

Other human rights groups, activists and artists also joined the procession.


SEE ALSO:
Q&A: Argentina's grim past
14 Jun 05 |  Americas
Spain tries Argentine ex-officer
14 Jan 05 |  Americas
Profile: Judge Baltasar Garzon
18 Mar 04 |  Europe
Vital rights ruling in Argentina
24 Aug 04 |  Americas
Argentina scraps amnesty laws
21 Aug 03 |  Americas


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