1976 Argentine coup d'état

The 1976 Argentine coup d'état was a right-wing coup that overthrew Isabel Perón as President of Argentina on 24 March 1976. A military junta was installed to replace her; this was headed by Lieutenant General Jorge Rafael Videla, Admiral Emilio Eduardo Massera and Brigadier-General[1] Orlando Ramón Agosti. The political process initiated on 24 March 1976, took the official name of "National Reorganization Process", and the junta, although not with its original members, remained in power until the return to the democratic process on December 10, 1983.

The coup d'état had been planned since October 1975, and the United States Department of State learned of the preparations two months before its execution.[2] The American secretary of state Henry Kissinger would meet several times with Argentinian military leaders after the coup, urging them to destroy their opponents quickly before outcry over human rights abuses grew in the United States.[3][4]

1976 Argentine coup d'état
Part of the Operation Condor / the Dirty War and the Cold War
Jorge Rafael Videla Oath

Jorge Rafael Videla swearing in as President on 29 March 1976
Date24 March 1976
Casa Rosada, Buenos Aires
Result Overthrow of Isabel Martínez de Perón. Jorge Rafael Videla becomes President of Argentina
Argentina Government of Argentina

Argentina Argentine Armed Forces

Supported by:
United States United States
Commanders and leaders
Argentina Isabel Perón Argentina Jorge Rafael Videla
Argentina Emilio Eduardo Massera
Argentina Orlando Ramón Agosti

Prelude to the coup

When president Juan Perón died of natural causes on July 1, 1974, he was succeeded by his wife (then vice-president) María Estela Martínez de Perón, also known as "Isabelita." Despite her claim as the country's rightful ruler, she rapidly lost political gravitas and power. A group of military officials, tasked by Perón to aide the vice-president, took control in an effort to revitalize Argentina's deteriorating political and social climate. This shift in governance paved the way for the ensuing coup.

On February 5, 1975 Operativo Independencia was launched. This Vietnam-style intervention aimed to eliminate the guerrillas in the Tucumán jungle, who had maintained strongholds in the area as early as May 1974. In October the country was divided into five military zones, with each commander given full autonomy to unleash a carefully planned wave of repression.

On December 18, a number of warplanes took off from Morón Air Base and strafed the Casa Rosada in an attempt to overthrow Isabel Perón. The rebellion was brought to a halt four days later through arbitration by a chaplain.

However, the military did succeed in removing the only officer remaining loyal to the government, Air Force commander Héctor Fautario. Fautario drew harsh criticism from the Army and Navy owing to his vehement opposition to their repressive plans, and for his refusal to mobilize the Air Force against the guerrillas' strongholds in the north. Fautario was Videla's final obstacle in his pursuit of power.

By January 1976 the guerrilla presence in Tucumán had been reduced to a few platoons. Meanwhile, the military, fully backed by the local élite and the United States, bided its time before ultimately seizing power.[3][5]

The coup

Shortly before 01:00 am, President Martínez de Perón was detained and taken by helicopter to the El Messidor residence. At 03:10 all television and radio stations were interrupted. Regular transmissions were cut and replaced by a military march, after which the first communiqué was broadcast:

[...] People are advised that as of today, the country is under the operational control of the Joint Chiefs General of the Armed Forces. We recommend to all inhabitants strict compliance with the provisions and directives emanating from the military, security or police authorities, and to be extremely careful to avoid individual or group actions and attitudes that may require drastic intervention from the operating personnel. Signed: General Jorge Rafael Videla, Admiral Emilio Eduardo Massera and Brigadier Orlando Ramón Agosti.

A state of siege and martial law were implemented, as military patrolling spread to every major city. The morning was seemingly uneventful, but as the day progressed, the detentions multiplied. Hundreds of workers, unionists, students, and political activists were abducted from their homes, their workplaces, or in the streets.

Subsequent events

The Junta assumed the executive power until March 29th when Videla was designated president. Congress was disbanded and an entity known as Legislative Advising Commission (CAL from its initials in Spanish) assumed a Legislative role.

Human activists state that in the aftermath of the coup and ensuing Dirty War, some 30,000 people, primarily young opponents of the military regime, were "disappeared" or killed.[6] Military men responsible for the killings often spared pregnant women for a time, keeping them in custody until they gave birth, before killing them and giving their infants to childless military families.[6] Kissinger privately assured the military regime that they would have the full support of the United States government in their war and associated actions, a promise that was opposed by the U.S. Ambassador to Argentina at the time, Robert Hill.[3]

The 24th of March anniversary of the coup is now designated the Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice.

See also


  1. ^ The rank of brigadier-general in the Argentine Air Force is equivalent to 3-star or 4-star rank. See Brigadier-general#Argentina for more information.
  2. ^ "Military Take Cognizance of Human Rights Issue" (PDF). National Security Archive. 16 February 1976.
  3. ^ a b c "Kissinger approved Argentinian 'dirty war'". The Guardian. 6 December 2003. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  4. ^ Blakeley, Ruth (2009). State Terrorism and Neoliberalism: The North in the South. Routledge. pp. 96–97. ISBN 0415686172.
  5. ^ "Transcript: U.S. OK'd 'dirty war'" (PDF). The Miami Herald. 4 December 2003.
  6. ^ a b Goni, Uki (22 July 2016). "How an Argentinian man learned his 'father' may have killed his real parents". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
ASEAN Declaration

The ASEAN Declaration or Bangkok Declaration is the founding document of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It was signed in Bangkok on 8 August 1967 by the five ASEAN founding members, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand as a display of solidarity against communist expansion in Vietnam and communist insurgency within their own borders. It states the basic principles of ASEAN: co-operation, amity, and non-interference. The date is now celebrated as ASEAN Day.

Argentine Jews in Israel

Argentine Jews in Israel are immigrants and descendants of the immigrants of the Argentine Jewish communities, who now reside within the state of Israel and are the largest Latin American Jewish group in the country. Argentine Jewish immigration to Israel has been, and still is, the largest and most significant migratory flow from Latin America. This is because Argentina has one of the largest Jewish communities in the world, the third largest in the Americas after those in the United States and Canada, and seventh worldwide. Because of this, many Jewish Argentines are able to make aliyah and become Israeli citizens through the Law of Return. The Argentine community in Israel is about 50,000 people, although some estimates put the figure at 70,000, making it one of the fastest growing groups in the country.

Asian Relations Conference

The Asian Relations Conference took place in New Delhi in March-April 1947. It was hosted by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who then headed a provisional government that was preparing for India's Independence, which came on 15 August 1947. The Asian Relations Conference brought together many leaders of the independence movements in Asia, and represented a first attempt to assert Asian unity. The objectives of the conference were "to bring together the leading men and women of Asia on a common platform to study the problems of common concern to the people of the continent, to focus attention on social, economic and cultural problems of the different countries of Asia, and to foster mutual contact and understanding."

In his writings and speeches, Nehru had laid great emphasis on the manner in which post-colonial India would rebuild its Asia connections. At this conference Nehru declared: "... Asia is again finding herself ... one of the notable consequences of the European domination of Asia has been the isolation of the countries of Asia from one another. ... Today this isolation is breaking down because of many reasons, political and otherwise ... This Conference is significant as an expression of that deeper urge of the mind and spirit of Asia which has persisted ... In this Conference and in this work there are no leaders and no followers. All countries of Asia have to meet together in a common task ..."

Carlos Menem

Carlos Saúl Menem Akil (born 2 July 1930) is an Argentine politician who was President of Argentina from July 8, 1989 to December 10, 1999. He has been a Senator for La Rioja Province since December 10, 2005.

Born in Anillaco, Menem became a Peronist during a visit to Buenos Aires. He led the party in his home province of La Rioja, and was elected governor in 1973. He was deposed and detained during the 1976 Argentine coup d'état, and was elected governor again in 1983. He defeated the Buenos Aires governor Antonio Cafiero in the primary elections for the 1989 presidential elections, which he won. Hyperinflation forced outgoing president Raúl Alfonsín to resign early, shortening the presidential transition.

Menem supported the Washington Consensus, and tackled inflation with the Convertibility plan in 1991. The plan was complemented by a series of privatizations, and was a success. Argentina re-established diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom, suspended since the 1982 Falklands War, and developed special relations with the United States. The country suffered two terrorist attacks. The Peronist victory in the 1993 midterm elections allowed him to force Alfonsín to sign the Pact of Olivos for the 1994 amendment of the Argentine Constitution. This amendment allowed Menem to run for re-election in 1995, which he won. A new economic crisis began, and the opposing parties formed a political coalition that won the 1997 midterm elections and the 1999 presidential election.

Menem ran for the presidency again in 2003, but faced with a likely defeat in a ballotage against Néstor Kirchner, he chose to pull out of the ballotage, effectively handing the presidency to Kirchner. He was elected senator for La Rioja in 2005. At 88, he is currently the oldest living former Argentine president.

Eduardo Bauzá

Eduardo Bauzá (16 November 1939 – 17 February 2019) was an Argentine politician who served as Minister of Health and Minister of the Interior during Carlos Menem's presidency and was later the first Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers. He was member of the Senate from 5 June 1996 to 10 December 1999.

Eduardo Duhalde

Eduardo Alberto Duhalde (Spanish pronunciation: [eˈðwaɾdo alˈβeɾto ˈðwalde]; born October 5, 1941) is an Argentine politician who served as President of Argentina from 2002 to 2003. Born in Lomas de Zamora, he was elected for the local legislature and appointed mayor in 1973. He was deposed during the 1976 Argentine coup d'état, and elected again when democracy was restored in 1983 after the tyranny of soldiers raiding homes. He was elected vice-president of Argentina in 1989, under President Carlos Menem.

Duhalde resigned as vice president and was elected Governor of Buenos Aires Province in 1991, and re-elected in 1995. He ran for president in 1999, being defeated by Fernando de la Rúa. De la Rúa resigned during the December 2001 riots, and Congress appointed the governor of San Luis Province Adolfo Rodríguez Saá as president. When Rodríguez Saá also resigned, Congress appointed Duhalde. During Duhalde's term in office, a huge currency devaluation and an increase of the exchange rate led to a gradual recovery. He successfully supported the obscure candidate Néstor Kirchner against Menem, who sought a new presidential term. Duhalde had political disputes with Kirchner in later years, and is largely retired from politics since his defeat in the 2011 presidential elections.

Guerrilla war in the Baltic states

The Guerrilla war in the Baltic states or the Forest Brothers resistance movement was the armed struggle against Soviet rule that spanned from 1940 to the mid-1950s. After the occupation of the Baltic territories by the Soviets in 1944, an insurgency started. According to some estimates, 10,000 partisans in Estonia, 10,000 partisans in Latvia and 30,000 partisans in Lithuania and many more supporters were involved. This war continued as an organised struggle until 1956 when the superiority of the Soviet military caused the native population to adopt other forms of resistance. While estimates related to the extent of partisan movement vary, but there seems to be a consensus among researchers that by international standards, the Baltic guerrilla movements were extensive. Proportionally, the partisan movement in the post-war Baltic states was of a similar size as the Viet Cong movement in South Vietnam.

Hector Fautario

Hector Luis Fautario was a retired Argentine Air Force general. He was the General Commander of the Argentine Air Force from 1973 to 1975. Shortly prior to the 1976 Argentine coup d'état, he was the government's only remaining loyal senior officer. He had drawn harsh criticism towards himself from the Army and Navy due to his vehement opposition to their repressive plans, and for his refusal to mobilize the Air Force against the guerrillas' strongholds in the north. He was General Jorge Rafael Videla's last obstacle on the way to power.

Jamaican political conflict

The Jamaican political conflict is a long standing feud between right-wing and left-wing elements in the country, often exploding into violence. The Jamaican Labor Party and the People's National Party have fought for control of the island for years and the rivalry has encouraged urban warfare in Kingston. Each side believes the other to be controlled by foreign elements, the JLP is said to be backed by the American Central Intelligence Agency and the PNP is said to been backed by the Soviet Union and Fidel Castro.

Johnson Doctrine

The Johnson Doctrine, enunciated by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson after the United States' intervention in the Dominican Republic in 1965, declared that domestic revolution in the Western Hemisphere would no longer be a local matter when "the object is the establishment of a Communist dictatorship". It is an extension of the Eisenhower and Kennedy Doctrines.

List of conflicts related to the Cold War

While the Cold War itself never escalated into direct confrontation, there were a number of conflicts related to the Cold War around the globe, spanning the entirety of the period usually prescribed to it (March 12, 1947 to December 26, 1991, a total of 44 years, 9 months, and 2 weeks).

National Reorganization Process

The National Reorganization Process (Spanish: Proceso de Reorganización Nacional, often simply el Proceso, "the Process") was the name used by its leaders for the military dictatorship that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983. In Argentina it is often known simply as última junta militar ("last military junta"), última dictadura militar ("last military dictatorship") or última dictadura cívico-militar ("last civil-military dictatorship"), because there have been several in the country's history.The Argentine military seized political power during the March 1976 coup, as part of the Operation Condor over the presidency of Isabel Perón, widow of former President Juan Domingo Perón; a time of state terrorism against civilians (as well as neoliberal economic policies) started, with the dictatorship labeling its own use of torture, extrajudicial murder and systematic forced disappearances as "a Dirty War". After losing the Falklands War to the United Kingdom in 1982, the military junta faced mounting public opposition and finally relinquished power in 1983.

Almost all of the Junta members are currently serving sentences for crimes against humanity and genocide.

Nurit Kedar

Nurit Kedar is an Israeli producer and director of documentary films.

During the 1980s, she worked in the news department of Israel's Channel 1 in Washington. At the beginning of the 1990s, she returned to Israel, where she worked for CNN and was a senior producer for Keshet television from the time it started broadcasting on Channel 2. She produced the documentary series The Fat Man with the Sony, starring Yaron London. Together with London, she also produced for Keshet the series The Poetics of the Masses, Buddha Pizza Krishna Cola and Mr Prime Minister. Kedar produced the film Istiklal, by the director Nizar Hassan, which won the Wolgin award for best Israeli documentary at the 1994 Jerusalem Film Festival.

Kedar spoke of her film-making philosophy in a 2008 interview with Al-Jazeera: "I like conflicts, anything that has conflict, that's what I like. That's why I do wars … because that's the conflict of our lives here. I don't believe in film you can really change people but here in society we do nothing to stop the conflict, that's why I am me. I personally don't see any light at the end. It is for me that I am critical and not easy to watch and lots of people don't like it."Kedar's film Asesino, on the disappearance and presumed murder of thousands of young Jews during the Dirty War following the 1976 Argentine coup d'état]], won the Noga Award at the 2001 Jerusalem Film Festival. Her film One Shot, which included "unprecedented" interviews with Israeli snipers and footage of them at work, received the 2004 Cologne Conference Phoenix Award.In extracts from Kedar's film Concrete broadcast on Britain's Channel 4 television on 26 January 2011, Israeli soldiers who took part in the 2008–09 attack on Gaza spoke of their orders, and stated that their commanders "psyched them up" and ordered "disproportionate" force. Following the broadcast, Kedar told Channel 4 News that she had received threatening messages calling her a traitor, calling for her to be expelled from Israel, and death threats. She said she had not received any messages of support from Israelis for making the film. Kedar and Yaron Shani won the Van Leer Group Foundation Award for Best Documentary Film, for the film Life Sentences at the 2013 Jerusalem Film Festival.Life Sentences won the Objectif d'or, grand award, also the Audience Award at the Millenium Film Festival. Won the Lifetime Achievement Award for the year 2014 awarded by the Israeli Academy of Film and Television.

Kedar awarded "The Art Of Cinema Award". The award was given by the Israeli Ministry of Culture 2016.

Operation Primicia

Operación Primicia (Spanish pronunciation: [opeɾaˈsjon pɾiˈmisja], "Operation Scoop") was a large guerrilla assault that took place on 5 October 1975, in Formosa, Argentina. It was the largest attack ever launched by the paramilitary group Montoneros, which attempted to seize the barracks of the 29th Forest infantry regiment. The incident worsened the Dirty War, and indirectly led to the 1976 Argentine coup d'état the following year.

Oscar Camilión

Oscar Héctor Camilión (6 January 1930 – 12 February 2016) was an Argentine lawyer and diplomat.

Born in 1930, he earned a law degree at the University of Buenos Aires in his hometown. Camilión first joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship as chief of staff under the administration of Arturo Frondizi. Camilión then worked for Clarín from 1965 to 1972. After the 1976 Argentine coup d'état, Camilión was appointed the ambassador to Brazil by Jorge Rafael Videla. Videla's successor Roberto Eduardo Viola then selected Camilión to lead the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship. Viola was ousted in another coup, and Camilión became a representative of the United Nations Secretary General. He also served as Minister of Defense from 1993 to 1996 under Carlos Menem.Camilión died in Buenos Aires in 2016, aged 86.

Partido por la Victoria del Pueblo

The Partido por la Victoria del Pueblo, also known as the Party for the Victory of the People or People's Victory Party (PVP), is a political organization in Uruguay. Its military wing is known as OPR-33. The leftist group began under an anarcho-syndicalist philosophy and was overshadowed by Tupamaros in Uruguay. The Party grew in strength among exiles in Argentina, both in followers and money, with $10 million from the successful ransom for a kidnapped businessman. Their planned an guerrilla operation to reclaim its place in Uruguay went awry with the surprise 1976 Argentine coup d'état. Several days after the coup, three PVP members were arrested while attempting to cross back into Uruguay. The arrests continued through the other group members in Argentina, dozens in total, including its leaders, in concert with Uruguay security forces.

Susana Beatriz Decibe

Susana Beatriz Decibe is an Argentine sociologist who has also served as the Minister of Education (1996–99).

Ulbricht Doctrine

The Ulbricht Doctrine, named after East German leader Walter Ulbricht, was the assertion that normal diplomatic relations between East Germany and West Germany could occur only if both states fully recognised each other's sovereignty. That contrasted with the Hallstein Doctrine, a West German policy which insisted that West Germany was the only legitimate German state.

East Germany gained acceptance of its view from fellow Communist states, such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria, which all agreed not to normalise relations with West Germany until it recognised East German sovereignty.

West Germany eventually abandoned its Hallstein Doctrine, instead adopting the policies of Ostpolitik. In December 1972, a Basic Treaty between East and West Germany was signed that reaffirmed two German states as separate entities. The treaty also allowed the exchange of diplomatic missions and the entry of both German states to the United Nations as full members.

Western Bloc

The Western Bloc during the Cold War refers to capitalist countries under the hegemony of the United States and NATO against the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The latter were referred to as the Eastern Bloc. The governments and press of the Western Bloc were more inclined to refer to themselves as the "Free World" or the "Western world", whereas the Eastern Bloc was often called the "Communist world or Second world".

Coups, self-coups, and attempted coups in Latin America since 1943
Frozen conflicts
Foreign policy
See also

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