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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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The Trials from the End of the Dictatorship Until Today


← 144 | 145 → RODOLFO YANZON

The end of the dictatorship

On 10 December 1983 Raúl Alfonsín assumed the presidency of the nation after seven years of dictatorship. Thousands of people had been exiled, killed, disappeared and tortured and hundreds of children had been appropriated. There were about 400 clandestine detention centres where the kidnapped were systematically tortured in order to extract information which would allow the task forces to continue with the kidnappings. These were carried out in broad daylight, in workplaces and in homes, by the task forces of the different branches of the military, involving intelligence officers and with the collaboration of the police who would liberate an area, so that no state authority intervened, with the exception of these groups. No judge, prosecutor or lawyer could take action or have knowledge. No action of habeas corpus attempted on the part of families and human rights organizations had a positive outcome.

The media misrepresented the facts by calling the kidnappings “counterinsurgency operations” and the victims “terrorists” and even participated in mounting misinformation operations. They used the same vocabulary as the usurping forces. Thousands of people in secret detention centres were forced to endure inhuman living conditions. The vast majority of them are still missing today, as their final destination, decided by the intelligence agencies and the various commands, was the flights of death or some other form of extermination.

← 145 | 146 → The survivors were subjected to a smear campaign....

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