Jorge Rafael Videla

Jorge Videla
Enlarge picture
Jorge Rafael Videla

President Videla in 1977
Preceded by
Succeeded by

NationalityArgentine
ProfessionMilitary

Jorge Rafael Videla Redondo (born August 21, 1925 in Mercedes, Buenos Aires) was the de facto President of Argentina from 1976 to 1981. He came to power in a coup d'état that deposed Isabel Martínez de Perón. After the return to democracy, he was prosecuted for large-scale human rights abuses, including widespread torture and extrajudicial murder of suspected and actual leftists under his rule. He is now under house arrest.[1]

The coup

Brigade General Jorge Videla was named Commander-in-Chief by President Isabel Perón in 1974. Perón, former Vice-President to her husband Juan Perón, had come to the presidency following his death. Her authoritarian administration was unpopular and ineffectual. Videla headed a military coup which deposed her on 24 March 1976. A military junta was formed, made up of himself, representing the Army, Admiral Emilio Massera representing the Navy, and Brigadier General Orlando Ramón Agosti representing the Air Force. Two days after the coup, Videla formally assumed the post of President of Argentina.

Human rights violations

Main article: Dirty War
The military junta took power during a period of extreme instability, with terrorist attacks from the Marxist groups ERP and the Montoneros, who had turned underground after Juan Perón's death in July 1974, from one side and violent right-wing kidnappings, tortures, and assassinations from the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance, led by José López Rega, Perón's Minister of Social Welfare, and other death squads on the other side. The members of the junta took advantage of this to justify the coup, by naming the administration "National Reorganization Process". The Argentine military government arrested, detained, tortured, and killed suspected terrorists and political opponents. As a result, human rights violations became commonplace. According to estimates, at least 8,960 and up to about 30,000 Argentinians were subject to forced disappearance (desaparecidos) and most probably killed; many were illegally detained and tortured, and others went into exile.[2] Politically, all legislative power was concentrated in the hands of Videla's nine-man junta, and every single important position in the national government was filled with loyal military officers. The junta banned labor unions and strikes, abolished the judiciary, and effectively suspended most civil liberties. Despite the abuses, Videla's regime received support from the Argentine Roman Catholic Church and local media, though the extent to which such support was given willingly remains the subject of much debate.

In addition to direct abuses by the military, far-right paramilitary groups, particularly the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance (AAA), carried out widespread atrocities, given free reign by the new military government.

Conflict with Chile

Enlarge picture
Videla with the Chilean President Augusto Pinochet met next to Mendoza in 1978, trying to resolve the Beagle conflict
During Videla's regime, a dispute arose with Chile over three islands in the Beagle Channel at the southern tip of South America, Picton, Lennox and Nueva. By 1977 Pinochet's Chile and Videla's Argentina were on the brink of open war.

In 1978, however, Pope John Paul II opened a new mediation process. His representative, Antonio Samoré, successfully prevented full-scale war.

The conflict was not completely resolved until 1984 with the Treaty of Peace and Friendship (Tratado de Paz y Amistad). Chilean sovereignty over the islands is now undisputed.

Economic policy

Videla largely left economic policies in the hands of Minister José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz. Although he attempted to introduce neoliberal economic policies designed to curb inflation and increase the role of markets, he was blocked by the military regime's support for public works and welfare spending and opposition to privatization of state enterprises. Meanwhile, the foreign debt increased fourfold, and disparities between the upper and lower classes became much more pronounced as compared to the populist days of Perón.

Videla's image abroad

One of Videla's greatest challenges was his image abroad. He attributed criticism over human rights to an anti-Argentine campaign.

On 30 April 1977, Azucena Villaflor, along with 13 other women, started demonstrations on the Plaza de Mayo, in front of the Casa Rosada presidential palace, demanding the whereabouts of their disappeared children; they would become known as las madres de la Plaza de Mayo. During a human rights investigation in September 1979, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights denounced his government, citing many disappearances and instances of abuse. Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, leader of the Peace and Justice Service (Servicio Paz y Justicia) organization, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1980 for exposing many of Argentina's human rights violations to the world at large.

Relationship with the United States

At first, the United States government was willing to maintain normal diplomatic relations with Argentina, though transcripts show U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and the U.S. ambassador to Argentina in conflict over how the new regime should be treated, with Kissinger preferring to remain friendly based on anti-Communist interests despite talk of human rights abuses. This changed in 1977 with the inauguration of President Jimmy Carter, who implemented a strict stance against human rights abuses even when dealing with friendly governments. U.S.-Argentine relations remained lukewarm at best until Ronald Reagan became president in 1981. His administration sought the assistance of the Argentinean intelligence services in training the Contras for guerrilla warfare against the new Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Because of this, Videla maintained a relatively friendly relationship with the U.S. under the Reagan administration, though the junta later fell out of favor with the U.S. over the Falklands War after Videla had stepped down.

Later years

Videla relinquished power to Roberto Viola on March 29, 1981.

Democracy was restored in 1983, and Videla was put on trial and found guilty. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and was discharged from the military in 1985. The tribunal found Videla guilty of numerous homicides, kidnapping, torture, and many other crimes.

Videla was imprisoned for only five years. In 1990, President Carlos Menem pardoned Videla together with many other former members of the military regime. Menem cited the need to get over past conflicts as his main reason.

Videla briefly returned to prison in 1998 when a judge found him guilty of kidnapping of babies during the Dirty War, including the child of the desaparecida Silvia Quintela. Videla spent 38 days in the old part of the Caseros Prison, and was later transferred to house arrest due to health issues.[3][4]

Following the election of President Néstor Kirchner in 2003, there has been a widespread effort in Argentina to show the illegality of Videla's rule. The government no longer recognizes Videla as having been a legal president of the country, and his portrait has been removed from the military school. There have also been many legal prosecutions of officials associated with the crimes of the regime.

On September 6, 2006, Judge Norberto Oyarbide ruled that the pardon granted by Menem was unconstitutional, opening up the possibility of a trial.[5]. On April 25, 2007, a federal court struck down his presidential pardon and restored his human rights abuse convictions[6].

Trivia

Dutch football legend Johan Cruyff famously refused to travel to Argentina for the 1978 FIFA World Cup in protest against the human rights abuses perpetrated by Videla's junta. Coincidentally, the Netherlands lost 3–1 to Argentina in the final. [1]
Preceded by
Isabel Perón
President of Argentina
1976–1981
Succeeded by
Roberto Viola

See also

References

1. ^ Argentina military junta members, top officers, and ministers. The Vanished Gallery.
2. ^ The Victims: Abducted, Tortured, Vanished. The Vanished Gallery.
3. ^ "'Dirty War' arrest", BBC News, 10 Jun 1998. 
4. ^ "Argentine junta head has 'stroke'", BBC News, 17 Dec 2004. 
5. ^ "Argentine junta pardons revoked", BBC News, 6 Sep 2006. 
6. ^ "Argentine court overturns "Dirty War" pardon", Reuters, April 25 2007. Retrieved on 2007-04-26. 
Motto
En unión y libertad   (Spanish)
"In Union and Freedom"
Anthem
Himno Nacional Argentino
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Mercedes is a city in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is located 100 km west from Buenos Aires and 30 km south west of Luján. It is the head town of the partido of the same name, and the seat of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Mercedes and Luján.
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Motto
En unión y libertad   (Spanish)
"In Union and Freedom"
Anthem
Himno Nacional Argentino
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coup d'état (IPA: [kuːdeɪˈtɑː] or AHD: [ko͞o"dā tä]), or simply coup, is the sudden overthrow of a government, often through illegal means by a part of the state establishment —
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María Estela Martínez Cartas de Perón (born on February 4, 1931), better known as Isabel Martínez de Perón, was President of Argentina from 1974 to 1976 and the third wife of Argentine President Juan Perón.
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Dirty War (Spanish: Guerra Sucia) refers to the state-sponsored violence against Argentine citizenry from roughly 1976 to 1983 carried out primarily by Jorge Rafael Videla's military government.
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Torture, according to international law, is "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third
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Crimes



Classes of crime
Infraction  · Misdemeanor  · Felony
Summary  · Indictable  · Hybrid


Against the person
Assault  · Battery
Extortion  · Harassment
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house arrest (also called home confinement, home detention, or electronic monitoring) is a measure by which a person is confined by the authorities to his or her residence. Travel is usually restricted, if allowed at all.
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commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function.
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Juan Domingo Perón (October 8, 1895 – July 1, 1974) was an Argentine general and politician, elected three times as President of Argentina and serving from 1946 to 1955 and from 1973 to 1974.
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March 24 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

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A military dictatorship is a form of government wherein the political power resides with the military; it is similar but not identical to a , a state ruled directly by the military.
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The Argentine Army (Ejército Argentino, EA) is the land armed force branch of the Argentine military and the senior military service of the country.

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The Army's official foundation date is May 29th, 1810 (celebrated in Argentina as the Army Day
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Emilio Eduardo Massera (born October 19, 1925, Paraná, Entre Ríos) is a former Argentine military officer, and part of the 1976 coup d'état. In 1981, he was found to be a member of P2 (also known as Propaganda Due
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Navy of the Argentine Republic or Armada of the Argentine Republic ((Spanish): Armada de la República Argentina — ARA) is the navy of Argentina.
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Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Argentina or FAA) is the national aviation branch of the armed forces of Argentina.

History

The Argentine Air Force's history begins with the establishment of the Escuela de Aviación Militar (Military Aviation School
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Argentina

This article is part of the series:
Politics of Argentina


  • Constitution
  • Government
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Dirty War (Spanish: Guerra Sucia) refers to the state-sponsored violence against Argentine citizenry from roughly 1976 to 1983 carried out primarily by Jorge Rafael Videla's military government.
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Marxism is both the theory and the political practice (that is, the praxis) derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Any political practice or theory that is based on an interpretation of the works of Marx and Engels may be called Marxism; this includes
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Ejército Revolucionario del Pueblo (ERP) may refers to:
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The Montonero Peronist Movement (Spanish: Movimiento Peronista Montonero) was an Argentine left-wing Peronist terrorist group, active during the 1970s. Its motto was venceremos ("we will win").
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Juan Domingo Perón (October 8, 1895 – July 1, 1974) was an Argentine general and politician, elected three times as President of Argentina and serving from 1946 to 1955 and from 1973 to 1974.
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right-wing, the political right, and the right are terms used in the spectrum of Left-Right Politics, and much like the opposite appellation of Left-wing, it has a broad variety of definitions: the same name can, in politics, sometimes mean different things.
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The Argentine Anticommunist Alliance (Spanish: Alianza Anticomunista Argentina, usually known as Triple A or AAA) was a far-right death squad active in Argentina during the mid-1970s, particularly active under Isabel
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José López Rega (17 October 1916 – 9 June 1989) was Argentina's Minister of Social Welfare during the Peronist government started in 1973 by Juan Perón and continued after Perón's death in 1974 by his third wife and vice-president, Isabel Martínez de Perón (1974-76),
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