The Truth

Last Friday, April 12, the United States government officially delivered 47,000 pages to Argentina that were labelled “declassified documents” about events that took place in Argentina during a period of its recent history known as the Dirty War (1976-1983). It was a dark time in the political life of Argentina that left thousands of victims dead, tortured and disappeared.

The delivery of these files, in compliance with U.S. official secrets legislation and certainly in response to the express request of Buenos Aires, provides concrete knowledge and assorted data, as abundant as it is valuable. There are many specialized nongovernmental organizations, both in Argentina and in the U.S., that have already begun the detailed analysis of information that has been received and the search for new clues for discovering the truth.

Although it is somewhat late, this time justice could come.

In the U.S., there are strict laws governing the management of official information considered to be sensitive. A vast number of reports from different intelligence agencies, both North American and foreign, have statutes of limitations governing secrecy. Periodically, the government releases documents to interested parties that have remained classified for several years and whose content, once the deadline has expired, does not endanger national security.

Well, as expected, the delivery of this abundant information to the government concerned has provided knowledge of new and surprising facets about the dark and murky – sometimes fascinating and always mysterious – world of international espionage.

For example, it is known that the intelligence agencies of respectable and very democratic European countries (France, Germany and Italy, for example) showed an unusual interest in reproducing the experiences of the so-called Condor Plan in their own way. This plan was a multinational operation of the military dictatorships of the Southern Cone (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia), which agreed to exchange prisoners and kidnap exiles, opponents of the left, who unwisely sought refuge in countries neighboring their own, or in distant European hiding places.

This sinister operation of “criminal and multinational cooperation” was conceived in May 1976, when leaders of the repressive bodies of the six countries mentioned met discreetly in Santiago, Chile, under the enthusiastic auspices of the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship.

On that occasion, the parties agreed to create a special unit within the framework of the Condor Plan dedicated to the physical elimination of leftist opponents based in neighboring countries and in Europe.

The unit mentioned was code-named Teseo and was to be financed by contributions provided by the member countries. A cable from the CIA dated April 7, 1978 gives an account of the interest and visit to Argentina by intelligence agencies of the three European countries to discuss the “methods for the establishment of anti-subversive organizations similar to Condor.” The European agents considered that the subversive danger had extended quite far and threatened their own countries.

This is just one of the revelations contained in the voluminous package of documents delivered by the U.S. to Argentina. Little by little, new details will appear, new data that reveals the background of hitherto unknown or inexplicable facts. The truth, though it comes many years later, will continue to make its way into the labyrinth of history.

That will be the moment for those who have been injured to have their turn.

And now, here is the key question for us as we explore these profound and dangerous depths: When will it be time for the revelations and public discovery of so many mysterious secrets that hide key periods in our recent history? When will Hondurans be able to know all the sinister hidden details behind their leaders’ corrupt actions? When will we see all the threads that weave a web of organized crime and that link to the state and society? When will the masks fall at last and reveal the true face of corruption that is hidden still along with the roles that the military, business, politicians, social commentators, religious leaders, key officials and multiple lectors play in this endless and grotesque costume ball?

It may be that it takes longer than desired, but one day, one day, the archives will open and a brilliant flash will flood the dark night that still surrounds us today.

That, too, will be the time for the injured to have their turn.

About this publication

About Patricia Simoni 180 Articles
I began contributing to Watching America in 2009 and continue to enjoy working with its dedicated translators and editors. Latin America, where I lived and worked for over four years, is of special interest to me. Presently a retiree, I live in Morgantown, West Virginia, where I enjoy the beauty of this rural state and traditional Appalachian fiddling with friends. Working toward the mission of WA, to help those in the U.S. see ourselves as others see us, gives me a sense of purpose.

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