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Argentina – Justice for the desaparecidos

“The cruel stories of the desaparecidos only intensifies our desire for justice. Not to pursue vendettas, but to uncover the truth, punish those guilty of crimes against humanity, keep the memory of the victims alive, and facilitate the reconciliation process”. These were the words of Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi in his closing address to a conference at the Farnesina on the years of the Argentinian dictatorship, which saw “monstrous atrocities”.

Terzi reminded his listeners that “while many around the world kept silent, minimised and, amazingly, did not intervene, 30,000 civilians – including 1,600 Italians – were tortured, shot and even pushed to their death from airplanes into the sea. They were made to disappear”.

Italy-Argentina Agreement

Italy’s efforts to uncover the truth were “strengthened by the government’s decision to act as plaintiff in the trials in Italy against Argentinian military personnel”, explained Terzi. He added that an important agreement had been reached with Buenos Aires in 2011 that will make it possible to send the authorities there “copies of documents held in Italy’s diplomatic-consular archives in Argentina concerning Italian citizens, holders of double citizenship, or citizens of Italian origin who fell victim to the military dictatorship”. To facilitate this work, an Italian-Argentinian technical committee has been set up.

The conference on Argentina’s history from 1974 to 1983, entitled “The Day Before Yesterday, The Dictatorship: Not to Forget”, was sponsored by the Foreign Ministry and organised by a Turin-based group, “Assemblea Teatro”.

The Assemblea Teatro has journeyed for over 15 years at the side of the relatives who for more than 35 years now have never wavered in the pursuit of justice for their loved ones and for all the desaparecidos.