Thursday, 3 September 2009

Argentina: Mohamed Alí Seineldín is Dead

Argentine colonel Mohamed Alí Seineldín, known for his role in the carapintada uprisings, has died aged 75.

The carapintadas - painted faces - were a faction within the armed forces who threatened coups at several points during the 1980s in response to the prosecutions of military officers for human rights abuses during the dictatorship. Military unrest played a major role in the capitulation of the democratic government which passed the 'full stop' and 'due obedience' laws and granted amnesties to convicted military perpetrators.
'Next week is going to be a game of nerves,'' the future official said. ''It's a mystery now who controls the army -the generals or Mohammed Ali Seineldin and his people.''
Read the original report from the New York Times on the June, 1989 uprising.

Seineldin was a man from Entre Rios, one of the old Nationalist strongholds... Despite his Muslim origins, Seineldin was known as "a sworn foe of the United States and a fanatical Catholic who would like to see the cross replace the sun in the centre of Argentina's flag"... In early December 1990, the carapintadas rebelled for a fourth time in three years. In a written statement, which ended with the words "Dios, Patria o Muerte" Seineldin acknowledged his "total reponsibility" for this action in which around a score of persons died.
[David Rock, Authoritarian Argentina, p. 236]
According to Deborah Norden, Seineldin saw himself as a saviour of Argentina, comparable to Jesus [Military Rebellion in Argentina, p. 148]. Eventually sentenced to life imprisonment, he was later freed by President Eduardo Duhalde.

Defense Minister Nilda Garre has said that there will not be military honours at his funeral.

Retired military Mohamed Alí Seineldín died (Telam)
Con la cruz a la espada (Pagina/12)
Murio Seineldin, el jefe del ultimo alzamiento carapintada, en 1990 (Clarin)

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