This October 2016 video says about itself:
Stolen children of Argentina’s dictatorship search for the truth
Imagine discovering that your surname, first name and date of birth are all lies? That your family is not your real family?
Hundreds of Argentineans born during the dictatorship of General Videla, from 1976 to 1983, have faced this horrifying discovery. FRANCE 24 went to meet them.
In Argentina, during the dark days of the dictatorship, almost 500 babies were forcibly taken by the military junta from their parents, who were left-wing dissidents opposed to the regime. The parents were tortured and often executed.
The young mothers, accused of “being active militants of the machinery of terrorism”, in the words of the dictator Videla, were killed or thrown into the sea from a military plane. According to human rights campaigners, around 30,000 dissidents were killed or disappeared during the junta’s rule from 1976 to 1983.
Newborns, who were often born in jail or in clandestine maternity wards, were given as spoils of war to military families or those close to the regime. Once adopted, they were given a new name and a new date of birth: a false identity.
In 1983, as the dictatorship came to an end and a civilian government was democratically elected, one group of women, “the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo“, actively set out to find their missing grandchildren.
Today, forty years after the 1976 coup that brought the junta to power, and thanks to a monumental investigation, witness testimonies and DNA tests, 119 people have discovered their real identity and biological families.
In FRANCE 24’s documentary, our reporter Bertrand Devé went to meet these men and women who have discovered the truth of their past, with some of them finding out the horror of who their “adoptive” parents really were. We joined them on their journey to reconnect with their roots and rebuild their identities.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
Controversial measure by the president of Argentina: domestic deployment of the military
The Argentine president Macri wants to deploy the army inland. That is sensitive in the South American country; Argentina suffered in the late 1970s, early 80’s under a military dictatorship, where tens of thousands of people disappeared under mysterious circumstances or were killed or tortured.
Macri wants to use the military to address domestic threats, such as drug crime and terrorism.
Authoritarian rulers usually have very wide definitions of terrorism. In this blog post, we have already seen Argentine dictator Videla, calling opposition to his dictatorship ‘terrorism’. The British conservative government does not know the difference between journalism and ‘terrorism’. Neither does the absolute monarchy in Bahrain.
Right-winger Macri, or some coup d’état general succeeding Macri as president, very probably don’t know the difference between terrorism and environmentalism; between terrorism and advocacy of workers’ rights; and between terrorism and advocacy of indigenous people’s rights; with consequences like for indigenous rights activist Santiago Maldonado, murdered during the Macri administration.
He also wants the army to guard sensitive areas, such as nuclear power stations. In a speech at a military base, Macri said that the military would mainly provide logistical support in border areas.
Defending the country’s borders
From 1976 to 1981, junta leader Videla was in power in Argentina. He used the army to suppress his own people. In 1983 the military dictatorship ended. With this history in mind, a decree was adopted in 2006 in which the role of the army was limited to defending the national borders.
The plans of conservative Macri, leading the country since 2015, are criticized by the opposition and human rights organizations. A wider use of the army can lead to military espionage, repression and more violence.
Criticism by human rights organizations
Former Minister of Defense Rossi says that separation of national security and internal security since 1983 is state policy and that should not change. According to him, it does not work either. He points out that Mexico, Colombia and Brazil have deployed the army in the fight against drug crimes, but those countries now seem to turn back from it.
The Buenos Aires Center for Legal and Social Studies says it is right behind the separation of military and domestic security issues. Messing that up poses a danger to both civil and human rights, says the organization.
The government wants to introduce the new rules through a decree rather than through a law which would have to be approved by Congress.
Argentinians hit the streets to protest against increasing militarisation: here.
28 jailed for life for crimes against humanity during Argentina’s Dirty War: here.
ARGENTINA VOTES DOWN BILL TO LEGALIZE ABORTION The Argentine senate has rejected a bill to legalize abortion, pushing back against a groundswell of support from a surging abortion rights movement. [Reuters]
Woman dies following illegal abortion in Argentina: here.
The crisis of the Turkish lira, driven by the strengthening of the US dollar, combined with the increase in US interest rates in recent months and sharply exacerbated by the Trump administration’s imposition of punishing trade tariffs, has spread to a number of “emerging markets” economies, which borrowed heavily during the years of low interest rates. Argentina has now joined Turkey in imposing currency mega-devaluations, threatening a national economic collapse: here.
After a brief respite, turbulence has returned to so-called emerging markets. The Argentine central bank raised interest rates to 60 percent yesterday to try to halt the slide in the peso. The Turkish lira also fell, moving toward the record lows it reached earlier this month: here.
ENERGY prices are set to rise by a massive 30 per cent in Buenos Aires by the end of the year, with economists warning that Argentina is on the brink of recession.
The country’s Energy Minister Javier Iguacel announced the steep rise today, telling a press conference that the increases in the city are meant to adjust for inflation.
Prices of energy, water and gas bills have rocketed by more than 1,300 per cent since November 2017 in some parts of the country as President Mauricio Macri’s government slashed subsidies as part of its economic austerity plan.
Mr Iguacel sought to allay fears, telling reporters that the gas price rises “will not be more than 25 per cent, while the increase in electricity will be less than 30 per cent.”
Demonstrations took place in the capital last week as the G20 leaders gathered for a summit in Buenos Aires.
Trade unions, students and activists blocked roads in protest at the economic policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after the government secured a $50 billion (£38bn) loan in June.
They feared a return to the economic crisis of the early 2000s and rejected the austerity package imposed by Mr Macri’s government.
Left and Worker’s Front opposition politician Nicolas Cano described the IMF loan as a “colonial pact, a harder structural adjustment against the people.”
The terms of the loan mean Argentina must implement a deficit reduction programme of 1.3 per cent of GDP by 2019.
Mr Macri’s administration has already presided over a massive jobs cull with 73,800 private-sector jobs axed since he came to power in December 2015.
Mr Iguacel explained that Argentina was hoping to strike a deal to export gas to neighbouring Chile in a bid to stave off an impending recession.
Poverty levels remain high at 29 per cent, with inflation at around 25 per cent for the year. The Argentinian peso has dropped against the dollar, with Buenos Aires residents being forced to participate in “barter clubs” to afford basic goods including sugar and flour.
Mr Iguacel sought to blame previous administrations, including those led by Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Fernandez for Argentina’s economic situation, saying they left a “heavy inheritance” for Mr Macri’s government to deal with.
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