Saturday, 14 April 2012

Argentina: Videla admits 7000-8000 murders

Incarcerated former dictator Jorge Rafael Videla has caused a stir by giving an interview for a new book in which he admits that the military regime murdered between 7,000 and 8,000 people during the 1976-1983 dictatorship.

It's interesting that he comes out and says this now - to journalist Ceferino Reato, author of Disposición final - since he generally refused to testify in court.

Videla addresses the issue of forced disappearance:
"In order not to provoke protests inside and outside the country, the decision was taken that these people should disappear," he said, adding "Each disappearance may be understood, certainly, as the covering-up of a death."
"There was no other solution. We were in agrement that this was the price to pay to win the war against subversion and that we needed to keep it hidden so that society didn't realise."

With regard to the existence of documentation about the victims, he stated that there are no lists detailing the ultimate fate of the disappeared, although he did say that there might be some partial, "messy" [desprolijo] ones.

I think we can have every sympathy with the view of Estela Carlotto, president of the Grandmothers of the Plazas de Mayo, who deplored Videla's "boasting" about the killings. He didn't speak up in court, because that would have meant acquiescing to a system which he didn't believe was qualified to try him (i.e., the civilian justice system), but now with little to lose he can use this book as his platform. It's not impressive. Nevertheless, any added information about this period is interesting.

Videla admitió el asesinato de más de 7000 desaparecidos (La Nacion)

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