Retired General Rodrigo Alejandro Soloaga sparked outrage yesterday after a video of him saluting “comrades” imprisoned for crimes against humanity committed during Argentina’s last military dictatorship did the rounds on social media.
“[They] are being deprived of their liberty as a result of having served in the force’s ranks during a difficult time in our country,” Soloaga said at a cavalry event on Tuesday.
Defense Minister Jorge Taiana ordered Soloaga’s immediate removal from his post as president of the cavalry’s retiree commission for “apologia for state terrorism.”
“At 40 years of democracy it’s unacceptable and we will not tolerate this type of statement,” he said in the government statement announcing Soloaga’s removal. “Anyone who makes this kind of pronouncement against democracy and the policies of Memory, Truth, and Justice will receive the appropriate disciplinary sanction.”
Taiana also said that Soloaga had violated the first article of Argentina’s Code of Military Discipline with his comments.
This is not the first time Soloaga has left the army due to denialist attitudes — he requested early retirement in 2004, when then-President Néstor Kirchner famously had the framed photos of dictators Jorge Rafael Videla y Reynaldo Benito Bignone removed from the military’s gallery of honor.