Sunday, 10 August 2008

Argentina: All the accusations were true

Another important article from Pagina/12, this time by Eduardo Luis Duhalde, the national secretary for human rights. Duhalde lists the relevant points, and they bust a lot of "dirty war" myths which persist in hanging around even 30 years after the end of the dictatorship, so I think it's worth translating(/paraphrasing) them in part. In sum, in the course of his trial Bussi acknowledged (with pride, by the way, not shame):
1. That the repression was systematic, that it functioned through the chain of command, that the horror was not improvised.
Right, so this destroys the "bad apples" argument (also known as "isolated abuses"), which has already been conclusively destroyed many times over, but sometimes still pops up.
2. That in this supposed "war", there was no rule of law, no adherence even to international humanitarian law which covers true wars. He [Bussi] alleged that during those years "there was no time to comply with legal requirements".
This summarises the problem with referring to the dictatorship/period of state terrorism as the "dirty war", a term coined by the dictators themselves which leads to the false understanding that this was a war with two, more or less equal sides.
3. That there were hundreds of clandestine detention and extermination centres, including "more than 20 in Tucuman".

4. That "special teams, sent periodically by the commander in chief of the Army, conducted practical interrogations". This was an oblique reference to torture.

5. That prisoners were killed, although naturally, Bussi says that they "fell in combat".

6. That "the armed forces worked on 45 day rotation periods and operated in different places with different infrastructure, mostly public buildings (police stations, schools, etc) for the interrogations of detainees". It was this rotation system that involved most of the officials of the three armed forces in crimes and torture. The pact of silence today is based on the blood pact of yesterday.
Important truths about the dictatorships from the mouths of one of its worst perpetrators. Not to be forgotten.

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