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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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Memory, Truth and Justice: Ideas of an Institutional Justice


← 64 | 65 → BRUNO NAPOLI

Argentina is passing through an unprecedented political moment. Almost 600 repressors from the last civil-military regime, which lasted from 1976 to 1983, have been arrested (accused of the kidnapping, torture, murder and forced disappearances of citizens). Of this number, sentence has been passed on about 170 and the rest are in prison awaiting trial. Another 800 participants in the dictatorship’s extermination plan are found at liberty, but charged in different cases in more than half the national territory.1 This unusual situation contrasts dramatically with ways of reading recent history which have tried, from the perspective of distinct government administrations, to close in different ways a question impossible to close: that of state terrorism in Argentina.

The changes brought about in recent years in the politics of human rights in the country contrast not only with the situation three decades ago, but also with that of five years ago. To undertake a revision from a political point of view, contrasting previous state administrations, and especially those of the same political tendency (Peronism), with the current situation, is just one attempt to understand a turning point in the field. Another is to attempt to understand the political meaning which first the “military question”, and later the consequences of the genocide, ← 65 | 66 → have had when it comes to assuming the leadership of the country at any moment. The decisions taken about the crimes against humanity have been fundamental to the frameworks of legitimacy of...

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