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«Desaparición»

Argentina’s Human Rights Trials

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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 Uses of the Past and the Politics of the Present

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← 300 | 301 → HUGO VEZZETTI

On 9 December 1985, the ruling passed in the trial of the military juntas was made public. Jorge Rafael Videla and Eduardo Massera were sentenced to life imprisonment, Roberto Viola to seventeen years, Armando Lambruschini to eight years, and Orlando Ramon Agosti to four years. In September 1984, the Comisión Nacional sobre la Desaparición de Personas (CONADEP: National Commission on Disappeared Persons) chaired by Ernesto Sabato presented to President Raul Alfonsín the report issued under the title of Nunca Más. The trial, a state ceremony which had no parallel in Argentinean history, and the Commission’s report were mutually reinforcing and, in their public impact, marked profoundly and lastingly the new meaning acquired by the dictatorship in Argentina society.

Emilio Crenzel has written a documented history of the mass diffusion of Nunca Más and the diverse ways in which it has been appropriated. Born of a state initiative, reappropriated by different actors in society, the book had sold over 500,000 copies before November 2007. It “was incorporated into the educational curriculum, published in instalments in newspapers nationwide together with films about the period. Its title was inscribed on many plaques, used as a political slogan and postulated as the name for various museums of memory”. The model inaugurated by the CONADEP was replicated in different “truth commissions” throughout Latin America: Brazil (1985), Uruguay (1989), Paraguay (1990), Chile (1991), El Salvador (1993), Guatemala (1996), Colombia (2000) and Peru...

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