By Marguerite Feitlowitz
Tanks roaring over farmlands, pregnant girls tortured, 30,000 contributors "disappeared"--these have been the horrors of Argentina's soiled conflict. A New York Times outstanding ebook of the yr and Finalist for the L.L. Winship / PEN New England Award in 1998, A Lexicon of Terror is a delicate and unflinching account of the sadism, paranoia, and deception the army junta unleashed at the Argentine humans from 1976 to 1983.
This up to date version incorporates a new epilogue that chronicles significant political, felony, and social advancements in Argentina because the book's preliminary ebook. It additionally maintains the tales of the participants enthusiastic about the soiled struggle, together with the torturers, kidnappers and murderers previously granted immunity less than now dissolved amnesty legislation. also, Feitlowitz discusses investigations introduced within the intervening years that experience indicated that the community of torture facilities, focus camps, and different operations chargeable for the "desaparecidas" used to be extra frequent than formerly suggestion. A Lexicon of Terror vividly inspires this surprising period and tells of the enduring results it has left at the Argentine tradition.
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Additional resources for A Lexicon of Terror: Argentina and the Legacies of Torture, Revised and Updated with a New Epilogue
17 This quote, and other highlights of the speech, were published the following day in the newspapers. ”18 The missing and the dead were not victims, nor merely enemies; they were demons. And so was anyone who even thought otherwise. ” Occasionally a supposed alias was provided; almost never were the individuals named. Sometimes the articles said, “Efforts to identify these delinquents have proven fruitless,” implying that the whole issue of the missing was an invention of the “subversives” themselves who, after abandoning their loved ones, had wiped away all of their own traces (“the enemy has no face”).
Even as the trials were going on, the military was promoting men who had committed abuses during the regime. Alfonsín greatly feared the destabilizing effects of widespread prosecutions and court cases going on for years. ” Excepted were “atrocious” or “aberrant” actions; although torture, rape, murder, and robbery were covered under these headings, kidnapping—which facilitated the other abuses—was not. 32 In December 1986, Alfonsín set February 23, 1987, as the Punto Final (“final point”), or cut-off date for all trials related to the Dirty War.
31 The country was outraged by this insult. On December 10, 1983, Argentina held elections. Though there were candidates from smaller parties, the only real contenders were Dr. Raúl Alfonsín, from the Radical Civic Union, a basically centrist party despite its name, and Italo Luder, who had served in the cabinet of Isabel Perón. Alfonsín won overwhelmingly on his slogan “Democracy or Anti-Democracy” and his pledge to fully investigate and legally address the abuses of the prior regime. One of his first acts as president was to appoint the Argentine National Commission on the Disappeared, or conadep, to take testimony from victims of abduction and torture, from the families and friends of desaparecidos, and from other witnesses willing to come forward.
A Lexicon of Terror: Argentina and the Legacies of Torture, Revised and Updated with a New Epilogue by Marguerite Feitlowitz