Argentina: US legislator wants release of “dirty war” files

A US Congress member, Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), has written US president Barack Obama asking for the declassification of several US intelligence documents with information on the abduction of children in Argentina during the 1976-1983 “dirty war” against suspected leftists. An estimated 30,000 people were disappeared, including hundreds of pregnant women whose babies are believed to have been taken by the military dictatorship then in power and given to adoptive parents. Argentine authorities have been seeking in formation on these cases to aid in the prosecution of former officials and to allow children to be reunited with their biological relatives.

“Thousands of families have waited more than 30 years to learn the fates of their loved ones, and we have an opportunity to make a contribution to truth and justice by helping to bring this troubling chapter in Argentina’s history to a close,” Hinchey wrote. “I ask that you follow through on your administration’s commitment to openness by reviewing these files for declassification. The release of these documents would once again demonstrate our nation’s dedication to human rights and open government.”

Hinchey was referring to documents held by the US military, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central intelligence Agency (CIA). Last May the Republican majority in the House of Representatives voted down an amendment Hinchey wrote that would have required the director of national intelligence to issue a report to Congress on Argentine human rights violations under the military dictatorship. (Buenos Aires Herald, Nov. 3; AP, Nov. 3)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Nov. 6.

See our last post on Argentina.