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New Documents Show Argentine Military Believed U.S. Gave Go-Ahead for Dirty War

August 22, 2002
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State Department documents released yesterday on Argentina’s dirty war (1976-83) show the Argentine military believed it had U.S. approval for its all-out assault on the left in the name of fighting terrorism. The U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires complained to Washington that the Argentine officers were "euphoric" over signals from high-ranking U.S. officials including then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

The Embassy reported to Washington that after Kissinger’s 10 June 1976 meeting with Argentine Foreign Minister Admiral Guzzetti, the Argentine government dismissed the Embassy’s human rights approaches and referred to Kissinger’s "understanding" of the situation. The current State Department collection does not include a minute of Kissinger’s and Guzetti’s conversation in Santiago, Chile.

Guest:

  • Carlos Osorio, National Security Archive.

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