Consent of the Damned
Ordinary Argentinians in the Dirty War
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University Press of Florida
Title Page, Copyright
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I am grateful to librarians and archivists at Memorial Library (University of Wisconsin), Robarts Library (University of Toronto), the Library of Congress (United States), the Library of Congress (Argentina), the National Archives and Records Administration (United States), the Library...
Introduction: How Unpopular Was the Argentine Dictatorship?
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Argentines have not yet begun to contemplate with rigor a set of questions that many around the globe have begun to debate openly and sometimes ferociously. Dictatorship implies violent control from above, but is there a popular component to authoritarian rule? If so, can that...
1. Dictatorship, Media, and Message
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There is no denying that democratic rule in Argentina after 1983 marked a break with authoritarian rule. Just over half of the voters chose Raúl Alfonsín’s Radical Civic Union party in an election that fielded over fifteen candidates. The election demonstrated that democratic institutions...
2. “A Correct, Hermeneutic Reading”: Fantasies of a Constitutional Coup and the Promotion of Indigenous Rights
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In his 1980 novel Respiración artificial, Argentine writer Ricardo Piglia imagined a protagonist who mysteriously disappears. Readers understand that this disappearance comes in the context of a dictatorship, though Piglia makes no mention of military rule. There is no...
3. The Frank War, the Fabrication of an Ongoing Menace, and the Jews
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Carlos Beltramino and a host of other Argentine diplomats and policymakers presented an image of Argentina as different from “violent” societies such as Paraguay or Uganda. However, the military’s trumpeting of Argentine rectitude on human rights depended on ongoing...
4. Democracy and the (Re)Shaping of Human Rights Politics
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After Argentina lost the Malvinas War, the military trumpeted what it described from mid-1982 through presidential elections in December 1983 as the nation’s transition to democracy, one more piece of evidence that it supported human rights. In April 1983, a year after the war, the...
5. Finding a Cynical Center
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Over the Easter weekend of 18–19 April 1987, Argentines watched anxiously as a group of rogue officers who adhered to dictatorship-era policies and ideals tried to overthrow the government. This event became known as the Semana Santa uprising. Alfonsín ended the crisis by announcing...
Epilogue: Saving Jorge Omar Merengo
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Even though the Alfonsín administration could not right all its human rights wrongs, democracy brought remarkable, life-altering change for many. For one thing, it saved the life of Jorge Omar Merengo. In early 1977, Merengo was living with his common-law partner, Felisa Villalva...
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Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2012