Thursday, January 06, 2011

Rewriting history: In Argentina today it is off limits to even mention in public the victims of the country's left-wing terrorism in the 1970s

Justice is not easily secured anywhere in the world
writes Mary Anastasia O'Grady (gracias para Fausta) as the Wall Street Journal journalist quotes Big Brother's party slogan in George Orwell's "1984" (Those who control the past, control the future: who controls the present controls the past).
But in Argentina today it is off limits to even mention in public the victims of the country's left-wing terrorism in the 1970s, let alone make an effort to win them or their surviving kin a day in court.

Try it and you are likely to be tarred by the Argentine left as a fascist friend of the former military government. The politically correct know that those who were brutalized by the guerrillas that Juan Perón once called "marvelous youth" are supposed to be erased from the national memory.

…Everyone knows the story of how the Argentine military took over the government in 1976 and proceeded to crush subversive movements ruthlessly. Its abuses of power are legion, and in 1983 it finally stepped aside in the midst of hyperinflation and economic chaos.

But Argentina lived another tragedy prior to, and for some time after, the military seized power. It was a wave of carnage and destruction brought on by bands of Castro-inspired guerrillas who sought to take power by terrorizing the nation. Their actions provoked chaos on a national scale that led to the military coup.

Yet because of the military government's ignominious demise, terrorists and their sympathizers have succeeded in rewriting this history, describing only the crimes of their uniformed enemy. Some current or former members of the Kirchner government, others who are in Congress, and others who work in the media were well-known members of subversive organizations.

In an interview in Buenos Aires in November, [Argentine lawyer and human-rights advocate Victoria Villarruel] told me that even opposition politicians don't speak up for the terrorists' victims because it has become "taboo" to do so. The state, she said [from her Center for the Legal Study of Terrorism and its Victims], treats them "as if they were never born."

One result is that a generation of Argentines has grown up with no awareness of the full story of that time of terror.

…It is interesting to note that the number of court cases filed against the military government charging abuses of power totals less than 9,000. Meanwhile the Kirchner government's justification for writing off the victims of left-wing terrorism is a claim that they were victims of ordinary crimes and that their perpetrators are now exempted from liability by the statute of limitations.
Elsewhere (needless to say), the leftists' (self-serving) narrative is working as, in typical fashion, Le Monde readers react with anger at a Jean-Pierre Langellier report from Caracas stating that of 16,094 homicides committed in 2009, 93% remain unpunished, four times more than before Hugo Chávez's rise to the presidency, the outraged Le Monde readers stating that in neighboring Columbia, the situation is (allegedly) worse and blaming (who else?) America and the CIA…

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