Last week, former military leaders, police officials, and Argentina’s last military dictator were convicted of the crimes they orchestrated and committed during Argentina’s “dirty war” in the late 1970s through the early 1980s.
During the “dirty war,” also known as “The Systematic Plan,” the military junta targeted leftist dissenters by capturing and torturing the dissenters and subsequently stealing their children. The dissenters were killed while many of the children were illegally adopted by officials and supporters of the “dirty war.” Thus, these children grew up with parents that were allegedly their own. Yet, many of them came to discover that their biological parents were indeed murdered by their adoptive parents. Students, trade unionists, civilians, and political opponents represented the largest numbers of victims of such terror.
In October, I blogged about a woman named Victoria Montenegro, who discovered that Colonel Hernán Tetzlaff, the father figure she knew all of her life, was in fact her biological parents’ murderer. Although she confronted this demon shortly before Tetzlaff’s death in prison, such devastation and hardship has afflicted similarly-situated Argentinians for decades following this state-sponsored terrorism. Families have been unable to bury these memories, as the remains of their relatives have never been recovered nor has justice been served upon the perpetrators of these systematic thefts. Now, at least three key figures of the captures and murders during this time period have faced justice and lost.