Thursday, October 27, 2011

Argentine Angel of Death get Life

In Argentina on Wednesday, Alfredo Astiz, Argentina's infamous "Blond Angel of Death," and 11 other death squad members from the country's period of military rule received life sentences following a twenty-two month trial.
Astiz, nicknamed for his cherubic looks, stood trial with other former officials accused of horrific crimes at the ESMA Naval Mechanics School, where about 5,000 dissidents were held and tortured during the 1976-1983 "Dirty War" dictatorship. Few of the captives survived.
The AP also has a round up of events in Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile that are related repression under military rule. In Uruguay, the Senate voted to annul the country's amnesty law, while In Chile, forensic investigators recently identified the remains of Georges Klein, Salvador Allende's French doctor. 

“Look, our basic attitude is that we would like you to succeed. I have an old-fashioned view that friends ought to be supported. What is not understood in the United States is that you have a civil war. We read about human rights problems but not the context. The quicker you succeed the better…The human rights problem is a growing one.  Your Ambassador can apprise you. We want a stable situation. We won't cause you unnecessary difficulties. If you can finish before Congress gets back, the better. Whatever freedoms you could restore would help.” (October 1976)

While you wouldn't expect the AP to rock the boat, I would have like to have seem them follow up on the lack of effort on the part of the United States to come to grips with its frequent support and encouragement of murderous regimes and terrorists in Central and South America.
The two countries [Uruguay and Argentina] are among several Latin American nations still struggling to come to terms with Cold War dictatorships in which regimes routinely tortured, killed or "disappeared" suspected opponents. Most of those dictatorships ended nearly three decades ago.
They are struggling to come to terms with their past. In the United States, on the other hand, the majority of the people are either unaware of what the US did during the Cold War or they justify our government's actions with the all so persuasive, "we won, didn't we?"

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for this, particularly the comparison of Latin America vs. people like Kissinger. It's always good to remember that, while justice for war criminals and human rights violators in Latin America are important steps, there are too many like Kissinger in the US who will never face the legal consequences for their own devastating policies and support of human rights violations.