Thursday, July 01, 2010


Secret List Shows Fate of Argentine Disappeared
By Bridget Huber
Associated Press dispatch on Yahoo! News, July 1, 2010
"Nelida Sosa de Forti almost escaped Argentina's dictatorship. The airplane's engines were already running when an air force commander came on board and ordered her and her five sons off the plane. Armed men waiting on the tarmac took them away. After days in a clandestine prison cell where she did her best to keep them calm, the children were pulled from their mother and dumped on a curb in downtown Buenos Aires, bound, blindfolded and covered by a sheet. They never saw her again. Her final gift, the oldest son says, was to persuade their jailers to set them free. For more than 33 years, her family had few clues to her fate -- until the list appeared. In a revelation that is reverberating across Argentina, a survivor of the detention center where Sosa was held has presented a list of 293 detainees, part of a trove of evidence he rescued from destruction decades ago and hid away. There, in neat columns typed by a police functionary, each 'subversive delinquent' is listed alongside a terse decision on their fate. In the last column beside Sosa's name are the letters 'DF,' military shorthand for 'disposition final' -- death. 'Obviously, it was very painful for me to see the letters "DF",' her eldest son, Alfredo Forti, told The Associated Press. The 259 pages of documents are evidence in a provincial trial of four men charged with the disappearances and torture of 22 people in the early years of the 1976-1983 dictatorship. The trial in Tucuman is now in its last stages, with the verdict expected July 8. The documents -- copies of which were obtained by the AP -- include handwritten notes made during torture sessions, reports about spying efforts, the names of intelligence agents and the identities of bodies. Many bear the stamps and signatures of police and military agencies and officials. Official investigations until now have been based largely on missing-person complaints and a patchwork of survivors' memories. They determined the military junta killed about 13,000 people, though human rights groups believe as many as 30,000 died during what Argentines call the 'dirty war.' The new evidence is something else entirely: documents created by the very people allegedly responsible for kidnappings, tortures and summary executions just as they were happening. [...]"

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