Speaking at an event commemorating Army Day today, President Mauricio Macri said the State would seek to make amends for having “ignored” the military for years, specifically by increasing officers’ salaries and compensating retired personnel who never received their pensions.
“I know it’s been years since the State has ignored you, abandoned you, and that’s created problems in terms of budget, equipment and infrastructure.”
Joined by Defense Minister Julio Martínez at the nation’s military school in El Palomar district, Macri assured that “a new era has begun” and called the public to “leave divisions and confrontation behind.” By this, he was probably making reference to the not-so-great relationship between the army and large swaths of the civilian population due to the military’s actions during the last dictatorship.
The President went on to announce that his government will increase military personnel’s salaries so that they make “the same as other State employees” and guaranteed help for retired officials who haven’t had access to their pensions. This last bit comes on the heels of an announcement last week that the administration will work to pay overdue pensions to all retirees who’ve been shortchanged on their retirement funds for years.
The presence of the former army chief during the Kirchner administration, César Milani, raised media attention, as he is more than controversial due to his alleged activity during the last military coup.
In fact, there are two ongoing investigations into his alleged involvement in two crimes against humanity. The first regards the disappearance (i.e. murder in coup language) of Alberto Ledo in 1976. The second regards the kidnapping and torture of Ramón Olivera and his father in a prison in La Rioja Province in 1977. The Ministry of Defense justified his presence saying he was invited out of “protocol” and that other former army chiefs such as Martín Balza were also present.
The army officialy celebrated its 206th anniversary yesterday. Military bands played marches in different public places such as the Basilica of Luján all the way to the Villa 31 in Retiro. There were also parades in different parts of the country, where members of the military put an assortment of weapons the country hasn’t renewed since the independence wars on display.
One such weapon, however, caught the media’s attention due to a tiny incident that saw a tank crash into a parked car. Luckily, only one person was slightly injured.
Do tanks have license plates and insurance?