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Ideal Society in Argentina

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In 1976 General Jorge Rafael Videla overthrew the government of Isabel Peron and led a military dictatorship all the way through 1983. In 1976 it was argued by Jorge Rafael Videla, Emilio Massera, and Orlando Ramón Agosti in the military junta of March 1976 that the Peronist government had lost all of its ethical and moral standing being no longer able to lead the nation. The results of the bad economic policies led to the fall of production, its corruption and mismanagement had created a power vacuum that invited anarchy while not having a strategy for combating subversion. After analyzing through the past 20 years, the junta came to a conclusion about all constitutional mechanisms to resolve the national crisis had failed leaving the armed forces to take power and hard decisions others avoided. The military’s ideal society included raditional Catholicism, fierce nationalism, and intense xenophobia that was free of political dissent, cultural experimentation, class conflict, religious diversity, or secular doubt”(Osiel,11).

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During this military coup there was many things done that violated human rights. Those who were against the state and threatened their obstacles were killed, tortured, murdered and disappeared. “. A guerrilla movement (led by Peronist-affiliated Montoneros) had surfaced in the early 1970’s and, for the first time in Argentine history, seriously challenged the military’s traditional monopoly over the means of coercion. The military was single-minded in its determination to eliminate the guerrilla threat” (Pion-Berlin, 57). The Argentine truth commission, called the National Commission on Disappearances (hereafter CONADEP), documented almost nine thousand deaths and disappearances in Argentina during the period 1975-83”(Sikkink, 3). Human rights organizations estimate a higher number of victims , that included professors, labor union militants, community organizers, student activists, liberal clergy, psychoanalysts, journalists, and others (Osiel,11). Like once General Videla said “A terrorist is not just someone with a gun or a bomb, but also someone who spreads ideas that are contrary to Western civilization”.These people were known as los desapercidos or the disappeared. Due to that thinking, those who were against the government or in opposition oh how the military was running it, were killed.

There was an approximate total of three hundred and forty clandestine detention centers where victims were tortured. Around thirty thousand people were abducted,by agents of the Argentine government , from their homes, blindfolded, taken to detention the detention centers, and not seen again. These captives were given numbers or codes, they were deprived from food, sleep, talk or shower and once they were “useless” they were drugged, loaded onto an aircraft, and thrown out, some of them still alive, into the Atlantic Ocean. This process called “death flights’ to hide the bodies of the prisoners and not trace them back to the government.

Adults were not the only ones affected but also infants and young children. They were taken from their mothers and given to military families for adoption but also adolescents. When women that were kidnapped were pregnant or had children with them, the armed forces would place the children for adoption, keep the children or give them to people who supported the regime.

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Middle-ranking members of the intelligence services of the armed forces cooperated within each zone, in the selection of candidates for disappearance. The kidnapping, interrogation, torture, sustained detention, and murder were conducted by squads of low-level officers with stable memberships of ten to fifteen. Often a settled division of labor developed. With that each squad was associated to a particular detention center or military installation. The navy’s Escuela Mecanica (or Engineering Academy) was a the biggest landestine center its efforts against the Montoneros, which were by far the largest of guerilla groups. The total membership of navy death squads was approximately over three hundred. There was a lot of cases were never reported, when whole families were disappeared, and the military destroyed many of its records months before the return of democracy. The regime also shut down the legislature and restricted both freedom of the press and freedom of speech, adopting severe media censorship on what was really going on.  

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