Mariano Ferreyra was murdered on the 20th of October under suspicious circumstances, rising to become a symbol of the people and tragedy known as a crime against the working class. Shot down in his prime at 23 during a Railway Union protest. The killer, a defence and justice hooligan, with links to the Mafia and allegedly hired by railway union leaders to attempt to prevent the blockade. The understandable outrage has rippled though Argentina and culminated last Monday in a concert to promote awareness of and to ask for justice for Mariano Ferreyra.
The deep red sunset silhouetted the pink presidential house as the trickle of revealers arriving Plaza de Mayo, turned into an unstoppable torrent. Defiantly hosted in front of the presidential house, the concert began with Onda Vaga an upbeat group of eight or so from Argentina. Banners blowing in the wind written in hard black lettering “Juicio y castigo a los asesinos de Mariano Ferreyra” (Judgement and punishment to the killers of Mariano Ferreyra). Fittingly framed the stage as the music flowed, reminding viewers of the purpose of the concert.
A speech from Soleded Villami, the actress from El Secreto de Sus Ojos, was played on the imposing screen, pleading for justice for Mariano Ferreyra. Her words adding strength and momentum to the protest as the dancing continued.
The usual political chants spread in fits and bouts throughout the audience. Their sounds confidently filling the air along with the smell of choripan and the beer Quilmes. Calle 13 later took the stage from Puerto Rico, their more aggressive and political songs added to the underlying tension and anger that subtly underpinned the overall jubilation and celebration of the concert. A meaningless brawl broke out behind me, most continued to dance as blood streamed from an unfortunate individual’s nose.
Some were here for the party, others were here to make a stand. The choripan vendor climbing up onto his stall, beer dribbling from his mouth with chori in hand was probably more here for the party and to earn a few pesos.
The night wore on and the crowd and energy was now peaking at 20,000 individuals, spilling out onto the avenues. The perfect mix of music, mate, politics and meat all framed by the stunning backdrop of the heart of the city centre made the event irresistibility Argentine, as well as a poignant insight into the power of a good old Argentine protest.
The concert finally finished, but the search for justice for Mariano Ferreyra continues, and I am sure that Buenos Aires has not seen the last of protests in his name.
You can go here to read more or see video from that day.