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Fri May 27, 2016, 03:00 PM

Pope Francis receives Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo founder Hebe de Bonafini.

Pope Francis received the renowned co-founder and president of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, Hebe de Bonafini, at the Vatican on Friday. The private meeting, held at the pontiff's Santa Marta residence, lasted over an hour.

The meeting, held at Pope Francis' invitation, was almost three times as long as the one he had on February 27 with Argentine President Mauricio Macri, an encounter remembered as much for its brevity as for its visible coldness.

While the nature of the meeting has not as yet been disclosed, there is speculation that Francis may have intended it as a show of support for the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo in their dispute with the right-wing Macri administration over its tacit opposition to ongoing human rights trials.

Francis' invitation was issued on May 11 - the same day that Argentine news media revealed that Macri's Justice Minister, Germán Garavano, had held a secret meeting on April 25 with the country's most prominent Dirty War apologist, Cecilia Pando. Pando openly advocates for the acquittal of all 632 officers convicted of 1970s-era crimes against humanity while Macri's center-left predecessors, Néstor and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, were in office between 2003 and 2015.

Macri had referred to human rights as a "scam" during his 2015 campaign, and labeled the Kirchners' support for such trials "a culture of vindictiveness." At six least such convicts have been released by Argentine courts since Macri took office in December; one (Alejandro Duret) took the liberty of flashing his middle finger to the news cameras as he left prison.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.politicargentina.com/notas/201605/14267-el-papa-francisco-recibio-durante-mas-de-una-hora-a-hebe-de-bonafini.html&prev=search

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