During the American war of aggression in Vietnam, many war correspondents of foreign news agencies were present in Vietnam to cover the war.

Ignacio Ezcurra- an Argentine reporter at that time working for La Nación newspaper was also present in Vietnam and imprinted his footprint on the hottest fronts in Hue and Saigon in 1968.

Ignacio Ezcurra was born in 1939 in San Isidro, Argentina. In 1956, he graduated from high school in El Salvador. In 1960, he received a Fellowship of the Inter-American Press Association (SIP) for journalism training at the University of Missouri (Columbia).

In 1961, he returned to his country and was sent by the Ministry of Culture and the Institute of Di Tella to more than 60 cities to introduce audio-visual media and documentaries. In 1962, he started working at La Nación newspaper.

In 1965, Ignacio married Inés Lynch and had two children: Encarnacion Ezcurra and Juan Ignacio. That same year, he was invited by the Syrian Embassy to visit the Middle East. In 1967, he went to the United States to learn about racial conflicts. There he interviewed Senator Robert Kennedy and African-American Pastor and civil rights activist Martin Luther King.

Ignacio is best known for his journalistic work as a war correspondent in Vietnam. On May 8, 1968, he went missing in Saigon. His memorabilia was passed on to his family, including a Pentax Honeywell H3 camera. Through the photos Mr. Ignacio Ezcurra took in Vietnam, the story of Vietnam during the war was depicted from many different angles.

Coming to Vietnam in the context of the fierce war in the year of Mau Than 1968, from curiosity, he confided to his mother: "I want to go to Vietnam, I want to see what's going on, because there's something. not true to what they are saying, I want to go there and bring back the truth. . .”. From the first surprise when preparing to set foot at Tan Son Nhat airport in the sound of cannons, helicopters, barbed wire and machine guns,... Ignacio described war as bombs, smoke, fire, crime, pain and loss. Loss is not only for the warring parties, it affects no one, and so is the fate of war correspondents. Ignacio died a fortnight later also in the sound of submachine gun fire and shells, the sound of ambulances, the evacuation of people and columns of black smoke, with an unfinished article. . .

Although he only came to Vietnam for a short time, and did not leave behind massive collections of journalistic heritage during the Vietnam War, the images Ignacio recorded are still an important piece of the war, a puzzle piece. It says a lot about the American war of aggression in Vietnam. It is a war that is always fierce. Fierce when he described an American raid in the A Sau valley (Hue), where the US concentrated fire, dropped B.52 bombs to ravage and prevent the North's reinforcements from entering the South through the Ho Chi Minh trail in 1968.

The American war to invade Vietnam was a senseless war, so the American soldiers participating in the battle not only had no faith, but they were always haunted by obsessions and fears. It was an American soldier named Steve Armold who said, “I don't want to go. The place is full of guerrillas”. It was Lui Gregore with the saying: “Fear. I'm not ashamed to admit this". Ignacio further described: “In order to avoid being the first choice target of the enemy, officers and non-commissioned officers took their military ranks and those carrying radios tried to hide their antennas”.

Ignacio's photos also show that Vietnamese people are always optimistic in the midst of bombs and bullets, when the smoke and fire are over, life continues on a daily. Mr. Ignacio left many important legacies for future generations of journalists. His articles and book Hasta Vietnam (to Vietnam) are included in the curriculum at journalism schools in Argentina and Latin America.

Fifty years after Ignacio's death, his family moved to Vietnam. They went to the War Remnants Museum and presented Ignacio's memorabilia to the museum. The images of this trip were captured by her granddaughter Luisa Duggan with the emotion of a search and remembrance after 50 years, also from the camera Ignacio left behind.

“Since I was a child, the Pentax Honeywell H3 has been with me every step of the way,” says Luisa, “It is quite heavy, slow shooting, difficult to control, ... but I know it went with my grandfather to the battlefield and back to his family without him. “We're going to Saigon when the 50th anniversary of Ignacio Ezcurra's death, do you want to go?”, my mother asked me two years ago, or maybe the Pentax. Both me and the Pentax agreed. And the camera was the first thing I put in my luggage. Only now I realize, it was the Pentax that brought me to Vietnam, a country unlike in our imagination, where there are no enemies, only friendly, cheerful and loving people".

Thematic exhibition: "The Story from the Camera" was organized by the War Remnants Museum in collaboration with the Argentine Embassy in Vietnam on the Anniversary of the Independence Day of the Republic of Argentina (July 9, 2019). . From the remains of journalist Ignacio's camera and photos taken by the two grandparents in Vietnam 50 years apart, the exhibition tells the story of "Vietnam during the war through the lens of Mr. Ignacio, and in times of peace in the past. the prism of his great-granddaughter Luisa Duggan". The exhibition contributes to the expression and cultivation of peace, friendship and cultural exchange between Vietnam and Argentina.

The camera of reporter Ignacio Ezcurra when working during the Vietnam War

Reporter Ignacio Ezcurra's last article unfinished (May 8, 1978)

Article, photo: Dr. Tran Xuan Thao

Director of the War Remnants Museum