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DAY 3: La Fantasma de los Perros : The 30 Characters Challenge

DAY 3: La Fantasma de los Perros

| November 9, 2012 | 1 Comment

In 1976 the government of Isabél Perón was overthrown through a military coup, and General Rafael Videla established a military junta. Thus began a particularly dark period in Argentina’s so called “Dirty War”. The new far-right regime instigated a period of overall chaos wherein thousands of suspected “subversives” and left-wing sympathizers were kidnapped, tortured, or assassinated at the hands of the government’s “security forces” and roving right-wing death squads in a self-termed “National Reorganization Process”. Young or newborn children were commonly taken away from their mothers in various state-sponsored concentration camps and redistributed to couples affiliated with the regime in order to mitigate the proliferation of subversive ideas. While many of those captured were in fact members of militant left-wing rebel militias, the “Dirty War” was just as much a witch hunt wherein thousands of victims were indeed innocent.
While many of the mysteries surrounding the so called “Desaparecidos” (The Disappeared or Vanished) were revealed upon the instatement of a democratic government in 1983, little is known, or discussed for that matter, about the true nature of “Nuestra Fantasma de los Perros”. While accounts from eyewitnesses are sparse, the legend was very prevalent in the low income (and often socialist sympathizing) barrios of Buenos Aires, Rosario, Corrientes and Córdoba. Descriptions of a petite woman of native descent, wearing a worn, dark stained gray cloak, and a pristine white, flower-pattern dress underneath were prevalent amongst the many rumors circulating in the populace. She was always accompanied by at least 4 stray dogs—though the number was said to grow with every kidnapping that occurred. It was rumored that her canine followers obeyed her through a dark aura which seemed to emanate from her hands. Several Death squad soldiers would admit years later that during a run in with “La Perra” (lit. “Bitch”) the eyes of her dogs would cloud with what appeared to be smoking tar immediately prior to an attack. The gruesome visages of the would-be abductors and assassins resulted in a great drop in recruitment for the death squads, and had a profound protective effect on those neighborhoods where the woman had shown up. While superstitious citizens offered scraps of meat and bread on their doorsteps at night as a plea to the woman and her companions for protection, the president himself issued several city wide dog-hunts in an effort to curtail the threat of this “Perónist vigilante”. The hunts were called off very quickly due to a mysterious absence of all dogs during the hunts. The loss of a dozen more men to unknown causes also frightened many of the hunters from ever searching in the first place.
Since the woman never spoke or appeared for more than minutes at a time, her origins remain unknown. Some believe she is the restless spirit of a Mapuche shaman seeking revenge on the ancestors of European settlers. Many of the largely Catholic populace viewed her as a wrathful incarnation of the Virgin Mary and a herald of the end-times. The last recorded account of “La Fantasma” came from Cristina Silviatore, the wife of Marcos Silviatore, a prominent lieutenant in the Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance, who reported a cacophony of barking outside of her home. Stepping out to inspect the commotion she caught a glimpse of a cloaked figure staring mournfully into her daughter’s bedroom window. The figure vanished quickly having noticed Cristina, and the dogs subsequently fell silent. After failing to conceive on their own, Marcos had brought the child home one evening in 1976, claiming to have just finalized the adoption papers at a nearby orphanage. As hard as she would try to convince herself that what she had seen was just a trick of the mind, she was never able to look at “daughter” the same way again.

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Category: 2012, Drama, Fantasy, Uncategorized

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  1. TiphArt says:

    intriguing story and character

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