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Argentina’s Human Rights Trials


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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The Trials in Italy


← 126 | 127 → GIANCARLO MANIGA


The last military dictatorship in Argentina carried out the planned repression of all kinds of dissent, through the elimination of all opposition, including peaceful opposition. It did so by means of kidnappings, clandestine detentions, torture and murder, all of which were hidden or disguised in various ways. Approximately 30,000 people were made to disappear, identified by that horrible neologism, established since then and made sadly famous internationally, desaparecidos (“the disappeared”). Among them – disproportionately so even in the context of the substantial representation already present for decades in the Argentine population – were many Italians.

In the course of the difficult path of recovery of a long inactive and brutally suppressed democracy, the termination of the bloody dictatorship should have been followed by the identification and prosecution of numerous officials, from the leadership of the Juntas and commanders of zones or of regions to the many perpetrators, often in the military hierarchy, as well as intermediate and subordinate cadres, including the most abject footsoldiers. As is well known, this did not happen.

The few trials of the commanders of the Juntas, which resulted in merely virtual convictions, the amnesties granted to the highest military ranks, and above all, the shameful laws of the cover-up – together these have ensured and guaranteed until very recently, the most incomprehensible and indescribable impunity for almost all the criminal perpetrators of what, not surprisingly, has been called a veritable genocide.

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