Friday, 25 November 2011

Argentina: Bussi is dead

Former general Antonio Bussi, who was sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity during Argentina's military dictatorship, has died. He was 85.

I'm not going to summarise his lifestory, because I already did that here. Suffice it to say that an icon of repression in Argentina has passed away. It's also worth noting that 1) Bussi's involvement in human rights abuses started before the 24 March 1976 coup and 2) he was not just giving the orders - he killed personally as well.

Let's take a little look at the response.

Pagina/12 goes for the headline "Terror in hell", and certainly the image of Bussi, his profile not softened by the oxygen tube in his nose, is well-chosen to illustrate this.

Torturado, represor, asesino, dictador y fusilador (Pagina/12)

Spanish paper ABC comments that the general "had the dubious honour of being the pioneer of the systematic plan of disappearances which characterised the last Argentine dictatorship". It notes that despite his conviction, he "died in bed surrounded by his family" - more than he allowed his victims, eh?

Muere el general Bussi, brazo ejecutor de la represion argentina (

Almost all the Spanish-language media are highlighting Bussi's role as a "symbol", an "icon" or an "archetype" of horror.

Murió Bussi, símbolo de la represión ilegal (La Nacion)
Murió Bussi, símbolo de la tortura y el horror en tiempos de la dictadura (Clarin)

La Nacion further comments on his "iron fist":

Acusado de atrocidades y de un estilo feroz (La Nacion)

President of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, Estela Carlotto, laments that Bussi will take his secrets to his grave and comments that his family is very lucky to be able to bury and mourn him openly. Quite. Bussi's son says that the ex-general is now "at peace" and that "in time he will be remembered as one of the great men in this country's history". Seriously?!

Estela de Carlotto lamenta que Bussi se llevara "secretos a la tumba" (EFE)

The only English language report I can find at the time of writing is AFP:

General in Argentina's 'dirty war' dies

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