Declassified documents reveal US role in Argentina’s “Dirty War”

Stories of the torture, murder and disappearance of political opponents in US-backed South American dictatorships resurfaced again recently, with the declassification of documents revealing, among other issues, US knowledge of the multinational campaign of state terror known as Operation Condor.

Dr Carolina Villella, a lawyer from the organisation Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo, Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo human rights organisation, deems the recent declassification extremely important.

“This is the first time that the US government has provided access to documents by the intelligence agencies for the State Department,” she said.

Villella also said the revelations are “a new opportunity to have a better comprehension and knowledge about the facts and events of the last dictatorship in Argentina”.

In March 1976, Jorge Rafael Videla, the commander in chief of the Argentine Army, led a military coup. He deposed President Isabel Peron and proclaimed himself to be president of Argentina two days later. From 1976 to 1981, Videla’s regime was characterised by the torture, murder and disappearance of socialist political opponents. Some 30,000 Argentinians are estimated to have disappeared during Videla’s rule. The period is known as Argentina’s “Dirty War”. It was part of a regionwide state terror and extermination programme known as Operation Condor. Read more.

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