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The denial of the dictatorship tests the solidity of Argentine democracy


On the new anniversary of the military coup of March 24, 1976, voices are growing that question the compensation and the number of disappeared and that demand the same treatment for the victims of the guerrillas

One of the few consensuses built by Argentine society in the four uninterrupted decades of democracy is the rejection of the dictatorship.

During the last military regime, between 1976 and 1983, "crimes against humanity were committed that are imprescriptible, that must be tried and that cannot be repeated," in the words of the Argentine Secretary of Human Rights, Horacio Pietragalla Corti.

Justice has sentenced more than 1,100 people for crimes such as murders, forced disappearances, torture, theft of babies and sexual abuse, among others, in a process considered a world example.

But, seen more closely, Argentina is not immune to the denialist discourses that grow hand in hand with the extreme right and social networks, especially among the youngest, already born in democracy,

Despite the enormous political polarization of Argentina, no legislator, not even from the extreme right, publicly claims the dictatorship.

Nor is it possible to imagine an electoral program that includes the end of the trials or a pardon for the convicted like the one approved by Carlos Menem in 1989. Only five years ago, a Supreme Court ruling that benefited a repressor with a reduced sentence It provoked one of the largest demonstrations of repudiation in the country's history and was never applied.

The deniers seek to break the social pact for weaker aspects, such as denouncing the violence carried out by the guerrillas in the seventies, questioning the number of disappeared during the dictatorship, the economic aid received by victims and their families or criticizing jobs linked to rights humans.

Within the Chamber of Deputies, the legislator closest to the denialist discourse is Victoria Villarruel, a member of the ultraliberal Libertad Avanza party headed by Javier Milei.

As president of the Center for Legal Studies on Terrorism and its Victims (Celtyv), Villarruel demands what she calls a "complete memory", that is, that the victims of guerrillas such as Montoneros or the People's Revolutionary Army (ERP) are also taken into account. ), among others.

When she was sworn in as a deputy, Villarruel did so on behalf of "the victims of terrorism", which sparked a debate in the most progressive forces on the advisability of presenting a project against the denialism of State terrorism.

The latest controversy erupted at the beginning of the month, following the presentation of the book

La estafa con los desaparecidos

, by the journalist and ex-military face-painted José D'Angelo, at the Library of Congress.

The writer, who had been invited by the Macrista deputy Alberto Assef, describes among his pages cases of alleged false victims of the last dictatorship and criticizes the lack of transparency in the payment of compensation granted by the State.

“How can it be possible that the same place where the end of the impunity laws was born is now the scene of denialism?”, the Mother of Plaza de Mayo Taty Almeida questioned herself at that moment.

In the face of criticism from Almeida and other human rights leaders, the presentation was canceled at the request of the Chamber of Deputies because it affected "the democratic and historical values ​​that Argentine society has taken as its own."

"That book lies about compensation, but you have to be careful because people sometimes stay with that idea," says the lawyer Paula Viafora in the framework of the conference on denialism held at the former Escuela Superior de Mecánica de la Armada, esma.

Viafora stresses that the reparation laws must be better explained to the victims in order to have arguments against attacks such as those received, days ago, by the judicial decision to compensate the daughters of the guerrilla leader Mario Roberto Santucho, founder of the People's Revolutionary Army (ERP). ), as reparation for the arrest and death of his father in 1976.

"There are 30,000"

One of the favorite darts of the dictatorship deniers is the figure of 30,000 disappeared.

For them, the victims are around 9,000, in reference to those that were documented by the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons (Conadep) that was created a few days after Argentina's return to democracy, in December 1983.

The number of 30,000 put forward by human rights organizations is an open figure that challenges the State, "it is a demand for a response" because "they continue to search for the bodies [of the disappeared persons] and the appropriate children," defended the writer Martín Kohan years ago after former President Mauricio Macri had assured in an interview that he did not know if the disappeared "were 9,000 or 30,000."

"The entire strategy of State terrorism was based on denialism," said journalist María Rosa Gómez at a table at the human rights forum in which current and past denials were analyzed.

“The forced disappearance as denial of the body of the crime.

Sweatshops as crime scene denial,” she adds.

According to Gómez, both during the dictatorship with the disappeared and today with the victims of femicides, they try to impose suspicion.

From "they must have done something" for the victims of the military to "she asked for it" when a young woman who was not afraid to go down the street alone is found dead.

Even so, Gómez believes that the denialist speeches about the dictatorship are in the minority and there is "a threshold that cannot be crossed, a limit that appears when there are provocations such as the 2-1 ruling of the Supreme Court," which sought to benefit those detained for crimes against humanity without final sentence.

"If someone had told me 15 years ago that we would be talking about human rights here, I would not have believed them," he gives as an example, recalling that what is today the headquarters of the Human Rights Secretariat and the main memory space in Argentina was during the dictatorship the largest clandestine detention and torture center.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-03-24

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