title banner Argentina's Dirty war

On March 24, 1976, a military junta overthrew the Argentine government and seized control of the country.  A rigidly conservative regime, the junta was characterized both by its free market, monetarist economic policies and the institution of severe political and social restrictions that included military control of the press, universities and labor unions, reintroducing the death penalty, and sanctioning the kidnap and torture of thousands of citizens seen as potential ideological opponents (Caistor xiv).

The following map highlights some of the key events during the dictatorship. Click on the number to find out what happened at each site.

:South America Map with locations of events described marked

1. Tucuman Province, November 6, 1974,-  A state of siege is announced in Tucumán province, where the ERP, a militant leftist group, is attempting to establish itself. The military begins establishing the Centros Clandéstinos de Detención (CCDs) in Tucumán province where individuals identified as subversive are secretly held and tortured.  These camps became patterns for later camps. Top

2.  Buenos Aires, March 24, 1976-  A military junta led by General Jorge Rafael Videla, Emilio Massera.  General Videla becomes president. Universities, trade unions, the press and courts all become military domain. El Proceso de Reorganizacion Nacional, a campaign included strident economic and social reforms, commences. CCDs are established all around the country and thousands of people perceived as potential threats to the government are disappeared and tortured.

Buenos Aires, 1978- Argentina hosts and wins the world cup; symbols of modernity such as color television and new hotels are introduced to suggest economic prosperity and social stability to foreigner; inflation and unemployment were rising steadily (Caistor xiv).

Buenos Aires, March, 1981- General Roberto Viola deposes General Videla and is joined by Admiral Armando Lambruschini and Brigadier Omar Graffigna.

1981- Lieutenant General Leopoldo Fortuanto Galtieri replaces General Viola and is joined by Admiral Jorge I. Anaya and Basilio Lami Dozo to form the third junta (Kohut 27). Top

3. Las Islas Malvinas/ The Falkland Islands, 1982- In a last ditch attempt to curry public favor amid growing economic crises, the junta mounts a campaign to reclaim Las Islas Malvinas, or the Falkland Islands, from Great Britain.  Several hundred Argentines died and Britain remained in control of the islands. Top

1982- General Reynaldo Benito Bignone becomes president, during his short presidency he declares amnesty for all those involved in Dirty War crimes, turns the country back to civilian rule.

4. Buenos Aires, 1983- Democratic, national elections are held in Argentina.  Raul Alfonsín of the Radical Party is elected president and innaugurated.


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