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The visit of the president of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès, to Argentina coincided today in Buenos Aires with a trip by Spain's secretary of state for Democratic Memory, Fernando Martínez López, to the Argentine capital. Both Catalan president and Spanish official scheduled visits to the museum located in the former detention and torture centre of the Escuela Mecánica del Armada (ESMA) and to the Remembrance Park, dedicated to the victims of Argentina's state terrorism. The most surprised by this circumstance was the director of the Remembrance Park herself, Nora Houchbaum, who at noon, after saying goodbye to Spanish secretary of state and Spanish ambassador to Argentina, María Jesús Alonso, at the entrance, found that the Catalan delegation was presenting themselves to her.

Houchbaum, who was not expecting the visit of Aragonès at the park this morning, did not understand how two delegations from the Spanish state could be presenting themselves one after the other. The director, however, improvised a new tour of the installation, during which the Catalan president made a floral offering into the Rio de la Plata, at the point where the victims of the country's repression were thrown into the water and in front of the sculpture recreating the image of Pablo Míguez, a teenager who was kidnapped and disappeared when he was 14 years old.

This coincidence did not represent any problem for the ambassador, María Jesús Alonso. Unlike in Colombia, where the Spanish ambassador, Joaquín María de Arístegui, insisted on the embassy's accompanying the Catalan delegation and did not leave Aragonès alone for a moment, the head of the embassy in Argentina did not receive the president and only appeared before the members of the Catalan delegation on Thursday evening, precisely to attend the visit to the Casa Rosada in which Aragonès met with the head of the cabinet - equivalent to a presidency minister - Agustín Rossi.

On the embassy's official Twitter account, a post recorded the activity of the secretary of state for Historical Memory and the walk through the Remembrance Park, while, as far as Aragonès's visit is concerned, there was no trace until this morning when he reposted the meeting with Rossi, with images in which the ambassador also appears, accompanied by a text as generic as "we discussed the strengthening of relations between Europe and Latin America".

Aragonès met this Friday afternoon with judge María Servini, the magistrate who is investigating the crimes of the Franco regime and is responsible for the restitution of the first babies kidnapped during the Argentine dictatorship.

Maria Servini Pere Aragonès Buenos Aires / ML
The president, Pere Aragonès, during the meeting with the judge, María Servini / ML

This Friday evening, the president will inaugurate the new delegation of the Generalitat of Catalonia in Buenos Aires.