Sunday, 13 September 2009

Argentina: 1979 CIDH Visit

It's now thirty years since the Inter-American Comission on Human Rights (IACHR/CIDH) visited Argentina and published a damning report on the state of the country. From our perspective, it's interesting to note how much was already known about what was happening, even under dictatorship.

The chapter of the report dealing with the disappeared opens as follows:
During the last three years, the IACHR has received a large number of claims affecting a considerable number of persons in Argentina. These claims allege that said persons have been apprehended either in their homes, their jobs, or on the public thoroughfares, by armed men, who are occasionally in uniform, in operations and under conditions that indicate, due to the characteristics in which they are carried out, that they are conducted by agents of the State. After these actions have occurred, the persons apprehended disappear, and nothing is ever known of their whereabouts.

It also deals with specific cases, for example:

The IACHR has received the following claim:

Silvia Angélica, of Argentina nationality, 27 years of age, married. At the time of kidnapping on May 19, 1977, she was two months pregnant; seven months later the grandmother received the baby girl born in detention; Mrs. Corazza de Sánchez also has another little girl, four years old. Her identification card is number 6.071.079. She is a housewife and her address is: Bartolomé Mitre 2637, 2n Floor, 42, Federal Capital. Date of kidnapping: 5.19.77. On the date, time and the place mentioned, the victim was arrested by armed persons in civilian dress. After seven months, she was taken to the home of her mother, accompanied by three persons, who, although dressed as civilians, belonged to police or security forces; they had a short meeting during which Mrs. Silvia Angélica handed her mother a new-born baby girl (five days old) stating that she had the baby while in detention and that she had been well treated during delivery. Once the baby was handed over, they left for an unknown destination. Since then nothing further has been heard of the whereabouts of the aforementioned person.

In addition, it specifically mentions two key cases which have received, and continue to receive, a lot of attention: that of Clara Anahi Mariani and of Dagmar Hagelin. The former is the granddaughter of one of the original grandmothers and the daughter of the pregnant woman mentioned in Laura Alcoba's The Rabbit House.

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