Arts & Entertainment

Testimony of the daughter of an Argentina perpetrator of genocide

By Carmen Jimenez

Buenos Aires, Sep 22 (EFE).- Analia Kalinec discovered at age 25 that the father who spoiled her during her childhood was also responsible for crimes against humanity during the Argentine dictatorship and now she is providing her testimony in a book in which she denounces his crimes and confronts the idea that children owe loyalty to their parents.

“When I answered the telephone and my mom told me that my dad was in prison, I didn’t understand anything. It was about the end of August 2005.” Three years later and after an emotionally costly trial, Analia accepted the acts of genocide committed by her father, former police officer Eduardo Kalinec, known as “Doctor K” and sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity.

In an interview with EFE, Analia, a 41-year-old teacher and psychologist, explained what she went through to write her book – “Llevare su nombre” (I’ll take down your name) – published recently by the Marea publishing house and in which she breaks her silence and denounces her father’s crimes.

Three years before her father’s arrest, she began writing a kind of intimate diary for the day in which she would have children of her own, putting the start of the story at the time she met her husband.

After her father was arrested, she first went through a phase of ignorance and then one of denial, “as a defense mechanism against something so disruptive like the image of a genocidal father,” and then an urge to know and to “speak out.”

In 2008, she accepted her father’s status as a genocidal killer and warned that “it’s not something intimate within one family, but rather it has to do with social facts that affected a whole society and an entire people in dealing with crimes against humanity.”

Although she said she understands she is not responsible for the crimes her father committed, she also said that she wanted to do something to somehow pay society back for the “harm (the genocidal killers) have caused.”

The book is a “vital need to seek my place and to denounce my dad’s crimes and to confront the idea that is so ingrained that children owe loyalty to their fathers. As a child, one also has the moral duty and the obligation to repudiate the crimes of one’s father, to repudiate their father if he does not repent of his crimes. I’m bearing witness to that.”

In 2017, Analia – along with other children of Argentine repressors – formed the “Disobedient Stories” collective, a pioneer movement to raise their voices against parents for their actions during periods of state terrorism.

Currently, the group has 150 members in Argentina, a relatively small number – she said – if one things that there are more than 1,000 perpetrators of genocide who have been found guilty and sentenced, not to mention all the ongoing trials and all the killers who have died without being brought to justice.

“There are very few of us in proportion to the population of children and families of perpetrators of genocide,” she said.

The movement has spread to other countries like Chile and Brazil, where similar collectives have been formed, and in recent months people have gotten in touch with the group from Uruguay and Paraguay.

The group is currently involved in a process of institutionalization in Argentina, and one of its main demands is that relatives of perpetrators of genocide be allowed to testify in court against their parents, something that is currently prohibited by the Argentine Penal Code, except when the crime was committed against a child or a relative of equal rank within the family.

Thus, they have presented a draft bill so that these articles in the Penal Code may be modified.

Analia said that her book only provides partial closure for a certain phase and that she is continuing to write since her father is still alive and has filed a still-pending lawsuit against her to exclude her from inheriting any of the estate of her mother, who died in 2015.

“I learned to live knowing that there are things for which there are no answers. There’s a required and insistent question pending against my father about the fate of the disappeared and about the babies born in captivity that remains unanswered,” she said.

“I keep hoping for a gesture of humanity on the part of (my) genocidal father,” she added.

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