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Argentina’s Human Rights Trials


Edited By Gabriele Andreozzi

The current situation in Argentina is unprecedented. In compliance with prescribed timings and procedures, the crimes committed by the state in recent history are being prosecuted and penalized. This book traces the path of the trials for crimes against humanity in Argentina, from the Trial of the Juntas that began during the presidency of Raúl Alfonsín to current developments under Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, analysing the ideas of memory, truth and justice. In the volume, judges, lawyers, historians, journalists and witnesses from the era of terror give a lucid and critical reconstruction of the last thirty years. The contributors also point to other states where crimes against humanity are still being committed on a daily basis, despite being notionally proscribed.
This book is translated from Spanish, originally appearing under the title Juicios por crímenes de lesa humanidad en Argentina (2011).
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Argentinean Society Today: Between Memory and Forgetting



Between 1930 and 1990 Argentina experienced more governments chosen by soldiers’ boots than by votes cast in free elections. During those sixty years the country suffered no fewer than one military coup per decade and in some cases up to five. Each dictatorship was bloodier than the previous one. The last one, which lasted from 1976 to 1983 and in whose presidency four Army generals took turns, did all it could to decree that its crimes be forgotten. In 1979, it offered to negotiate a political opening for the proscribed parties in exchange for the validation of everything it had done. In 1980, when the Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH: Interamerican Commission of Human Rights) published its report on its visit of the previous year, in which it confirmed widespread and systematic violations of human rights and concluded that all the disappeared detainees had been assassinated, the Interior Minister, General Albano Harguindeguy, said that Argentina knelt down only before God. The Commander in Chief of the Army and dictator Roberto Viola called the disappeared ausentes para siempre (“absent forever”) and his successor Leopoldo Galtieri warned not to ask for explanations because they would not give them, as they had saved the country.

← 27 | 28 → The Self-Amnesty

After the military disaster in the war against Great Britain over the Malvinas, the Armed Forces had to convene elections urgently. But first they tried once more to impose conditions on the...

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