The Dirty War is not THERE it is HERE


Dissenters daring to ask questions of system were chased and arrested.

They were like mice being chased by cats.

Some people were not in opposition to the new regime. This did not help them…

“Wait what are you doing to me”?! Wait!  I haven’t done anything?!”

‘This mattered not… for each one was arrested anyways.’



This was the ‘Dirty War‘ in Argentina.


The arrested were ‘thrown out like garbage’ by a determinist regime resolved on carrying out ‘a painful surgery’; not on outsiders; or foreigners, but instead from among their own people.

The name ‘The dirty war’ was coined by the military Junta itself and comes from the methods that were used to maintain the societal order the Junta saw as necessary. These methods were the use of widespread torture and rape against those who were openly opposed to the Junta which was then extended to many students, activists or anyone suspected of being a sympathiser. The population was kept in a state of terror and estimates are that somewhere between 12,000 and 30,000 people were killed or ‘disappeared’ during this period of ruthless repression.

‘Disappeared’ people were snatched off the streets or from their homes, often in broad daylight, and taken to secret detention centers to be tortured, beaten and raped. Many of the disappeared were put on planes and pushed out over the Atlantic Ocean.

(Source: Claire Sessions)


Some 30,000 opponents of Argentina’s dictatorship were kidnapped, tortured and killed by armed forces members loyal to the military junta during the late 1970s. Thousands of those rounded up still remain “missing” and an amnesty for culprits was only lifted in 2003, enabling prosecution.

Two of those responsible for the purges were finally brought to justice on Thursday when a Buenos Aires court convicted retired General Hector Gamen, 84, and Colonel Hugo Pascarelli, 81, of committing crimes against humanity at the feared “El Vesubio” prison, where 2,500 “subversives” were tortured between 1976 and 1978.

(Source: The Independent 16 July 2011)


Files Found!


Top-secret files dating back to Argentina’s “Dirty War”, including an extensive inventory of blacklisted artists and journalists, have been discovered gathering dust in an air force building in Buenos Aires.

Among the 1,500 files and 280 documents is a blacklist, almost exclusively made up of well-known personalities from artistic and intellectual circles.

In the document, each name is given a number between one and four depending on a perceived “danger” level. The list includes several figures of international repute, including the folk singer Mercedes Sosa, who died in 2009, as well as tango musician Osvaldo Pugliese and novelist Julio Cortázar, both also deceased.

In the last military dictatorship,  between 1979 and 1983, up to 30,000 people are thought to have been tortured and killed. The files are expected to be published by the government in the coming months, once they have been fully analysis.


Source: The Independent




It is not a difficult thing to be able to express grief or outrage long after a crime by some regime has been exposed and a story made clearer.

What is more of a challenge is to examine ourselves so as to to find and protect the image of God which is present in all human beings.

When one does so one is not so quick so as to dehumanize others at a time later when those others or that particular group might become persecuted.

The real effort is not to imagine if one will stand up in good times. Times when things and quiet and stable in the society. No. Instead the real effort is to work out how we will view others now so that when the crisis come and the labeling begins our vision of those others will be a picture of a higher, more noble order.


See: ‘The Night of the Pencils’

Also see article: ‘See you at the Game’


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