Saturday, January 29, 2011

Argentina's Dirty War

I usually don't delve outside of U.S. history, but since I was living in Argentina during this period, decided I would explore this theme.  I wrote about Dr. Santillan in another blog , who was caught up in this conflict.
The dirty war, probably started before the taking over of the military government in Argentina, but became more intense during this time.  It is estimated rebels and terrorists killed over 1500 people during this time.  In response to this, the government made war against a wide swath of people.  " The "ideological war" doctrine of the Argentine military focused on eliminating the social base of insurgency. In practice that meant liquidating many middle class students, intellectuals and labor organizers, most of whom had few ties to the guerrillas. By the end of the 1970s, such tactics had suppressed the insurgents, but Argentina suffered terribly from the ends-justifies-the-means attitude adopted by the military.

Official estimates but the umber of people who disappeared during this period as over 11, 000.  Civil Rights groups put the number at 30,000.  Many of those who disappeared were drugged, taken in an airplane ride over the ocean, and pushed out where their bodies would never be recovered.  In this way the government could deny responsibility.
 Because mos of the disappeared were left without voice, being taken in the middle of the night, subject to torture, and never heard from again, documentation and records are hard to come by.  Those kept by the military were destroyed after the Falkland Islands War.  The website: "The Vanished Gallery" is atempting to give voice to some of the disappeared.

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