The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
In an interview, Juan Andrés Molinas said that various protests were organized when his father and more than four hundred other workers at the Ingenio Santa Lucía [Santa Lucía Sugar Mill] were fired. During a protest march toward Bella Vista District, a group of women and children were dispersed as they were harassed by the police, who threw tear gas at them. While crossing a street, Hilda Guerrero received a gunshot to her forehead from a policeman, Gabriel Felipe Figueroa. The interview then reports on “the problems of the working class in Tucumán,” generated by the closing of the sugar mills, which was not only an economic problem, but one that was fundamentally human and social. Molinas denounces the so-called Operativo Tucumán implemented by the government as being “an absurd maneuver that economically depresses the province.” Moreover, the interviewee denounces a firm (Blanco y Cia.) for seizing the dwellings of the Ingenio Santa Lucía workers. Furthermore, he declares that the labor union situation is complex, since the present directive commission (headed by Sr. Flores) is not active in the defense of the workers who were laid off. As he acknowledges, Molinas is a militant in a “group of revolutionary workers” who thinks that the only way out for these people is to rise up in arms.
Tucumán Arde [Tucumán Is Burning] is the most famous collective production of emerging vanguard art in Argentina, both in Buenos Aires and Rosario, and it took place at the turning point of the artists’ political and artistic radicalization in 1968. Its design implied a complex process of research and counter-information as well as a mass-media campaign. Given the fact that they were an integral part of the investigation, many artists (mostly from Rosario) traveled to Tucumán for a second time in October 1968. It was in that province that, with the support of trade-union members, journalists, and other collaborators, the artists developed an underground registry of work pertaining to the social situation of sugar mills (closed by then), schools, hospitals, and so forth, seeking information that would evidence the official campaign’s deception respecting the so-called Operativo Tucumán. A variety of media was used, including recordings, photographs, and films.
One of the core points of their complaint was the police’s bloody repression of the workers. The figure of Hilda Guerrero de Molinas became emblematic in this sense: the wife of a worker who had been fired from the Santa Lucía Refinery was killed a few months before the arrival of the artists, during a union meeting. This interview of the son of the deceased was performed by the vanguard artists who traveled to Tucumán in October 1968. Mimeographed copies of the interview were handed out to the public attending the exhibitions at the Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT) headquarters, both in Rosario and Buenos Aires.
The testimonial value of this document reinforced the denunciation of the province’s reigning repression of workers.