Government crafts its own “official story” about dictatorship

Casa Rosada will present a video with their own version about state terrorism in the anniversary of the 1976 coup this Sunday

A new anniversary of the civic-military coup in Argentina will be remembered on March 24. In that context, expectations about what the government is planning for Sunday grew over the last hours, as reports emerged about the possibility of a presidential pardon for repressors.  

The Herald’s sister publication Ámbito learned that, in fact, the government is planning at least one thing for the weekend. It’s a video in which they will tell their own version of “the official story”. Shot in the White Hall of Balcarce 50, the video shot by documentary-maker Santiago Oría features testimonies of former Montoneros guerrilla member Luis Labraña, the former head of state intelligence service SIDE during the Menem administration, Juan Bautista “Tata” Yofre, and María Fernanda Viola, the daughter of captain Humberto Viola. 

Yofre has never answered for his time in the entrails of the last military dictatorship. Far from a low-rank official, he was the General Undersecretary of the Office of the Presidency, appointed by a decree on April 23, 1976. Labraña, a former Montoneros militant, claims he came up with the 30,000 number, and that it was “a necessary lie in order to obtain money for the mothers of the disappeared”.  

As for Viola, she is one of the activists of the so-called “complete memory” that considers the victims of guerrilla operations. 

Potential pardon for genocidal criminals

Regarding the possibility of a presidential pardon for repressors older than 70 with medical conditions, sources in Casa Rosada deny it, although they don’t rule out that a “judicial solution” is in the works. 

In this context, a few days ago Defense minister Luis Petri was photographed together with Cecilia Pando and a group of wives of military men convicted for crimes against humanity. It was at the presentation of a book about colonel Argentino del Valle Larrabure, for whose death the pro-military sector aims to take 1970s activists to trial. 

Last February, an NGO of lawyers of people convicted for crimes against humanity made a petition to be heard by the Federal Appeals Chamber to solicit that they evaluate whether their clients over 70 years-old can automatically obtain house-arrest benefits.  

Despite the defense’s petitions, house arrest is already the norm for people accused of crimes committed during state terrorism. According to the latest statistics by the General Attorney’s Office, 77% of convicted military officers are serving time at home. 

Originally published in Á / Translated by Agustín Mango


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