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The truth about Argentina’s dirty war

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National Institutes of Health
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  1. Introduction
  2. Scilingo's interview
  3. The Argentine dirty war
  4. The aspect of the dirty war
  5. The response to the dirty war
  6. Argentina's presidential elections
  7. Years after the end of the dirty war
  8. Conclusion
  9. Works cited

Like most Latin American countries, Argentina bears a turbulent record of political and social history. Yet perhaps nothing has left a more significant blemish on Argentina than their dirty war. Beginning in 1976, when Videla took over Peron's presidency, Argentina's dirty war developed through a unique political and military entanglement. A war fought on civilian turf, the dirty war of disappearances lasted until 1983, yet a battle over silence persisted for decades afterwards. One of the first individuals to come forward with the truth was naval officer Adolfo Scilingo.

[...] Argentina's dirty war subsequently resulted in a dirty struggle for truth that probably would have pervaded had it not been for the bravery of individuals like Scilingo. Years after the end of the dirty war, Argentina's public would finally uncover that closer to 30,000 civilians disappeared and were killed in over 250 clandestine detention centers through a host of mediums (163). With such a heavy weight on his conscience, Adolfo Scilingo confessed after years of silence tore him and his family life apart. [...]


[...] Scilingo continued with his orders for the entirety of his military career during the dirty war, with the conflict between his brutality and his innocence destroying his personal and familial life, but convinced that the dirty war was a sacrifice Argentina needed to make in order to secure peace and eliminate subversion. For Scilingo, the actions of the dirty war were never justified, only eclipsed and forgotten. The Argentine dirty war was perhaps ?successful? in its strength and cruelty, yet it suffered from severe ideological problems. [...]

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