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Hossam el-Hamalawy's Library tagged Argentina   View Popular, Search in Google

  • Although the number of secret detention centers increased rapidly  after the 1976 military coup, with the state investing ample  resouces to promote this principal tool of repression, a few pilot  centers already existed in 1975. The first secret detention center  was set up in the Escuelita de Famaillá in Tucumán province - a small  deserted rural school transformed into a detention center that could  hold up to forty prisoners. It was an experimental model which the  military utilized during the 'Independencia' operation in order to  examine the efficiency of the method.
  • The initial secret detention centers were limited in size and  functionality since they were located mainly in small houses or  in cellars. After the military coup, on march 24, 1976, the secret  detention centers grew larger and were set up in civilian buildings  (El motel - Tucumán province, Quinta Seré - Buenos Aires province),  in police stations and offices (COT I Martínez, Monte Pelone -  Buenos Aires province), in Army, Navy and Air Force bases (Campo de  Mayo, the Navy Mechanics School, 7th Air Squadron of Morón - Buenos  Aires province), and inside official prisons (La Ribera - Córdoba  province).
  • Many of the secret detention centers were situated in old, run-down,  and often disused structures. Some centers operated in buildings that  were still under construction. The chosen sites were not renovated,  but rather, adapted to their new purpose. The adjustments included  setting up cells, in those centers where there were none, and installing  torture rooms. The cells, both the communal ones (the 'lion's cage')  and the individual ones (the 'tubes', approximately 2 metres by 1 metre),  were frequently created by partitioning off the sections intended for the  detainees. As a rule, the prisoners were put up in the least habitable  areas of the detention centers: basements, attics, sheds, huts, stables,  vacant garages.

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  • The period preceding the coup was one of violence, but nothing approaching the retaliatory and repressive violence of the dirty war to be unleashed by the new regime
  • In late 1980 Videla stepped down in favor of Army General Roberto Viola. The dirty war was going well for the army, but the Argentine economy was doing badly. Under military management/mismanagement, the country fell deeply in debt, the currency depreciated, wages fell, inflation rose, and the labor unions started to regain their militancy. An early casualty was General Viola. After serving less than a year of his supposed four-year term and after suffering from a mild heart attack, he was pushed aside in a palace coup in favor of the Army Commander in Chief, General Leopoldo Galtieri.
  • Dr. Jeanne Kirkpatrick, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a noted apologist for supporting rightwing dictators, arrived in Buenos Aires on August 1, 1981 on the second leg of her tour of Latin America.

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  • BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- A second former military man has admitted taking part in "death flights" in which political prisoners were thrown alive into the Atlantic in the 1970s.
  • "At times there were 20 prisoners, even 300," he said in an interview published Monday in the newspaper La Prensa. ``When there were too many'' the prisoners were placed aboard army cargo planes and helicopters and flown out to sea.
  • "We flew at very low altitude and the flights were never registered," Ibanez said. "Prisoners were injected with a very strong drug, they were brought over to the door and two officers threw them out."

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