Saturday, 5 December 2009

Argentina: New Info on Timerman Case

For the second time in as many days I post on information provided by the excellent National Security Archive.

This time, it's focusing on Argentina, where documents show that the abduction of newspaper editor Jacobo Timerman led to severe conflict within the military junta itself.

The Timerman case is an emblematic one of the 'dirty war'. He was editor of La Opinion, one of the very few publications to be openly opposed to the dictatorship. This, naturally, made him a powerful enemy of the military and in 1977 he was detained and tortured. He was well-connected, and international condemnation of his treatment eventually pressured the military regime enough to secure his release, when he went into exile for the rest of the dictatorship.

Timerman's side of the story in detailed in his book Prisoner without a name, cell without a number, which is still in print. Now the other side can be revealed as well.
One September 1979 document states, "President Videla, the civilian Minister of Justice, and the entire Supreme Court threatened to resign" if the military high command refused to release Jacobo Timerman.
As before, the documents are available for download from the National Security Archive website.

Timerman Case Threatened Argentine Military Regime (National Security Archive)
Journalist's 1977 arrest threatened Argentine dictatorship, documents show (Journalism in the Americas)
Caso Timerman: el dia en que Videla amago con renunciar (Clarin)

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