General Jorge Rafael Videla, de facto military dictator of Argentina, 1976-81.
The wheels of Argentine justice turn with painful, creaking slowness. But they’re still moving, and today comes news that things could start moving forward a lot faster:
Last Thursday, the Airport Security Police raided the homes of Jorge Rafael Videla, Albano Harguindeguy and Santiago Omar Riveros, where they took documents into custody to be analyzed as part of the “Causa de Mayo” case (4012/03).
During the raid, ordered by the federal judge of San Martín, Alicia Vence, authorities seized folders marked “strictly secret and confidential”, audio and video cassettes, a sealed envelope which Videla was thinking of sending to Riveros, and pieces of intelligence.
Also found were official documents of the dictatorship marked “secret”, such as “Guidelines of the Military Junta for the National Executive for the exercise of government actions”.
The magistrate had ordered the seizure of all documentation related to crimes committed during the dictatorship, as well as anything else of interest in the case.
The raid on the homes of Videla, Harguindeguy (the dictatorship’s former Minister of the Interior), and Riveros (ex-commandant of the Military Institutes of Campo de Mayo) came in response to a presentation by Pablo Llonto, a lawyer representing the families of the disappeared.
Llonto made reference to the declarations of Videla which appear in the book Final Disposition, by the journalist Ceferino Reato. “With no need to violate professional secrecy, which is protected for journalists under the Constitution, we ask the judge to have Reato place at our disposition the 20 hours of recordings with Videla which, according to him, were made,” the lawyer said in an interview with Tiempo Argentino.
“We have also written to demand a raid on the home of Videla, in the Avenida Cabildo, to take into custody all documentation having to do with the dictatorship, in search of the lists of disappeared persons. Because Videla himself, in the book, says that there were folders and admits that, at some point, he had folders and papers related to various cases,” Llonto added.
It looks as though the files and folders in question are now in the hands of the magistrate. It will be interesting to see, in the months ahead, what lies within.