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La Guerra Sucia

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by

David Armitage

on 7 July 2015

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Transcript of La Guerra Sucia

La Guerra Sucia
Conditions of Argentina in 1976

-The cost of goods was soaring

-The value of the Argentine peso was dropping

-There were violent conflicts between the government and civilian military groups

Start of the "War"
- In 1976, General Jorge Videla, leader of the army, ousts the president and puts all branches of the military in charge of the Argentine government

-He felt he could do a better job fixing Argentina's economic problems and resolving the conflicts with the civilian military groups

The Process of National Reorganization
-In order to create a united country, Videla institutes The Process of National Reorganization, which essentially says that citizens will support the government or they will be treated as enemies of the state

-A military leader was quoted as saying "...we will kill their collaborators; then their sympathizers, then…those who remain indifferent; and finally we will kill the timid.”
Features of "la Guerra Sucia"
-Death Squads
-Concentration Camps
-Death Flights
-Torture
-Disappearances
-Illegal Adoptions
-Paranoia
-Censoring of music, radio, television, newspapers, etc.


FIFA World Cup of 1978
-Argentina hosts the world soccer championships of 1978

-Government hides all evidence of "la Guerra Sucia" from other countries

-Argentina wins the World Cup

-Government (and most citizens) view this as a sign that everything is OK in Argentina
-A group of mothers/grandmothers, however, begins marching in front of the president’s home with posters of their missing family members

-They demand to know what has happened to their missing children and grandchildren

-They continue this march in front of the president's home once a week for several years--even after the end of "la Guerra Sucia"


Madres de la Plaza de Mayo
Las Madres Begin Inspiring Change
-The grandmothers start getting international attention from reporters

- They begin to do DNA testing and genealogical studies to find the missing children who have been illegally adopted

- They continue to speak out against the government, with very few of them being arrested or "disappeared" for their protests

Public Outcry
- By the early 1980’s, more and more public criticism of the military government occurs

Art as a Form of Protest
- Artists begin to hide messages of protest in music, paintings, literature, and plays

- Several are exiled to other countries or kidnapped as well, but it starts to become impossible for the government to deny what they’ve been doing

End of "la Guerra Sucia"
- In 1982, Argentina attempts to re-take The Falkland Islands from Britain and fails

- Other countries begin to pressure Argentina to stop the genocide against its citizens or risk a military invasion

- The economy begins to fail again

The Result?
-In 1983, President Videla steps down, an election takes place, and a new democratic government is put in place

-The courtrooms of Argentina become slammed with charges against military officials for crimes against humanity

- In 1986, the new president grants amnesty (a pardon) for all people who participated in “The Dirty War”, claiming that the country needs to look to the future instead of the past

Current Situation
- In 2003, the amnesty granted to participants of “The Dirty War” was repealed

- Several officials have been tried and convicted for their crimes, but several still walk free

- It is estimated that over 30,000 people disappeared during “The Dirty War”—20,000 people still have not been accounted for

- It is estimated that between 300-500 children who were illegally adopted still do not know that the families they live with are not their biological families

Footage of Interviews with the Grandmothers
Citizens Reaction to the Pardon
Witnesses of "la Guerra Sucia"
Full transcript