Argentina remembers Eva Peron 60 years after death

Argentina paid a rousing tribute to Eva Peron on Thursday, the 60th anniversary of the national icon's premature death, with President Cristina Kirchner hailing her as "eternal".

A musical on Broadway in New York City, Alan Parker's 1996 film featuring Madonna and the captivating novel by Tomas Eloy Martinez "Santa Evita" (Saint Evita) have all helped to keep Peron's legend alive.

An unrivaled orator who delivered impassioned speeches from the balcony of the Casa Rosada presidential palace, Evita in 1949 secured women's right to vote, earning a legacy comparable to that of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara.

"She is eternal, unique. But we must draw the lessons of history and know that the path we have chosen, of a country with fewer poor people, means confronting interests," Kirchner said during a commemoration in Jose C. Paz, a town located 40 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of Buenos Aires.

"We are back because, she, Eva Peron, had vowed to return among her millions of Argentinians and we had to honor her promise to offer a different country," the president told a crowd estimated by organizers at 100,000.

At a parallel ceremony in La Recoleta cemetery in an exclusive Buenos Aires district, hundreds of people, including many foreigners, congregated around the grave where the glamorous second wife of president Juan Peron, is buried.

"There will never be someone like her," said 76-year-old Norma Bermudez, a retired nurse who had held a three-day wake in 1952 when Evita, full name Maria Eva Duarte de Peron, died from cancer at the age of 33.

Bermudez said a weeping "human tide" paraded outside Congress while central Buenos Aires was bedecked with carnations, roses and chrysanthemums.

To mark the anniversary, a new 100 peso bill -- equivalent to about $22 -- was unveiled Wednesday imprinted with the image of Evita.

The bank note shows the late first lady in profile, her blond hair swept back into the classic chignon hairstyle she usually wore.

Kirchner said the note was a fitting tribute, noting it marked "the first time in 200 years that a woman appears on a (national) bill".

A mural depicting Evita painted in a hospital bearing her name was meanwhile inaugurated Thursday by the governor of Buenos Aires province, Daniel Scioli.

And there was also a musical tribute on the stairs of the Argentine Congress, with the participation of baritone Ernesto Bauer and soprano Eugenia Fuente along with a school orchestra of 60 youths.

At 2325 GMT, the precise moment when Evita died, the national anthem was to be sung outside Congress.

Revered by millions, Evita remains a powerful myth in Argentina today.

More than 30,000 copies of historian Felipe Pigna's biography "Jirones de su Vida" (Bits of Her Life), about her ascent from street to chic and power, have been sold in less than a month.

Evita's character -- she ignored critics who were aghast that she hosted the poorest of the poor, while decked out in pricey jewelry and the latest designer frocks -- won people over.

Her face, like Che's in Havana, still towers over the streets of Buenos Aires, including two sides of the Social Development Ministry.

Evita met Peron during a festival in 1944. The following year, Peron launched a movement that governed Argentina for over 30 years and now again. He had three terms as president, dying in office in 1974.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused
    Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused

    The Sandiganbayan has allowed a government official, accused with plunder along with former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to undergo a medical procedure at a hospital tomorrow. The anti-graft court permitted former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Benigno Aguas to undergo a cardiopulmonary/endocrine clearance at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City. …

  • Appeal for convicted Pinay in Indonesia continues – Palace

    The Aquino government is doing everything possible to save a Filipina facing execution in Indonesia for drug smuggling, a Palace official said yesterday.Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the government was moving within Indonesia’s legal framework to spare Mary Jane Veloso from death.Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario continues to exhaust all legal avenues to save Veloso from execution, Valte said.The Indonesian Supreme Court on Wednesday denied the government’s …

  • Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy
    Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy

    The Sandiganbayan has recommended executive clemency for a former Philippine ambassador to Nigeria who was sentenced to 52 years for malversation of public funds. The Sandiganbayan First Division found Masaranga Umpa guilty of misusing the Assistance-To-Nationals Stand-by Funds totaling $80,478.80 in 2007, but the anti-graft court said the former assemblyman from Lanao del Norte should be pardoned. …

  • Bulacan, Bataan are top Lenten destinations

    MALOLOS, Bulacan – With the expected Holy Week exodus of Catholic devotees to various pilgrimage sites in Bulacan, Bataan and other provinces near Metro Manila, local and provincial officials have coordinated with security and emergency response teams to address the influx of visitors.Among the pilgrimage sites in Bulacan that are often visited by travelers are the Divine Mercy Shrine in the town of Marilao; the procession of saints in Baliwag; the Banal na Bundok with the Stations of the Cross …

  • Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour
    Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour

    It was a night of stargazing in 58 SM Supermalls all over the country last night as these establishments participated in Earth Hour, an annual worldwide movement encouraging communities and establishments to switch off lights for one hour to raise global awareness of overuse of non-renewable resources. The Philippines has been an active participant of Earth Hour since 2008. Last night, in the province of Bulacan, for instance, all parishes, diocesan institutions, schools and household …

  • Payanig privatization hit
    Payanig privatization hit

    BLEMP Commercial of the Philippines, Inc. (BLEMP) denounced the recent announcement of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to privatize the 18.4-hectare “Payanig sa Pasig” property. In a statement sent to The STAR , BLEMP lawyer Dennis Manalo said the PCGG has no right to auction the property because it has no valid title and is not in possession. The PCGG has not paid a single centavo in real property taxes for the property, he said. He narrated that it was in the early …

  • New species of tarantula found
    New species of tarantula found

    Scientists from the Museum of Natural History (MNH) of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños have discovered a new species of cave-dwelling tarantula on an island off the coast of Quezon. The new species of the spider, Phlogiellus kwebaburdeos, was described in the recent issue of the Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology by MNH curators for spiders Aimee Lynn Dupo and Alberto Barrion along with their former student Joseph Rasalan. The tarantula was discovered by Rasalan during …

  • Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others
    Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others

    As Christendom enters Holy Week today, Palm Sunday, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) yesterday called on the faithful not to add to the sufferings of their fellowmen. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs (ECPA), said that while Palm Sunday is oftentimes remembered as the glorious arrival of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, it also signals the start of the Holy Week that tells of His suffering, death and …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options