Argentine Defence Minister Agustín Rossi announced on Monday the discovery of 1,500 documents that had been hidden in the basement of the Condor building, the headquarters of the Argentine Air Force, shedding new light on the activities of the military dictatorship that ruled Argentina between 1976 and 1983.
Among the documents, discovered last Thursday thanks to information supplied by Air Force chief Mario Miguel Callejo, were the minutes of 280 secret meetings held by the Armed Forces, ‘black lists’, and a government plan until the year 2000.
“We found six original folders of the records of the military junta, all the secret minutes from the 24th March, 1976 until 10th December, 1983, with a chronology of each and the originals signed by the general secretaries of each force,” said the Minister.
“It is the first time we have had access” to this type of records, Rossi added, signalling they could have future legal repurcussions.
Rossi focussed part of his Monday press conference on Papel Prensa, the main supplier of news printing paper which was sold to Clarin, La Nación and La Razón in 1976. In 2010, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner accused the buyers of “extorting” the family to sell them the company shares, after owner David Graiver died in an accident in Mexico.
Rossi asserted that the new documents proved that: “For the junta, the detention of [former Papel Prensa owners] the Graiver family was directly related to its sale.”
“The Justice will decide whether these documents that we have found have not only historical value, but legal value for the various lawsuits that are being carried in the various courts of Argentina,” said Rossi.
Also contained in the documents were black lists with the names of 331 intellectuals, journalists, artists, musicians, and actors, ranked according to how “dangerous” they were, which depended on their “Marxist ideological background.” Many of the names on the list were in exile, and included Norma Aleandro, Hector Alterio, Osvaldo Bayer, Norman Briski, Julio Cortázar, Rogelio García Lupo, Horacio Guarani, Victor Heredia, Federico Luppi, Osvaldo Pugliese, Rodolfo Puiggrós; Marilina Ross, Mercedes Sosa and Maria Elena Walsh.
Also uncovered were records of requests for information from the relatives of desaparecidos (missing persons) and directions to avoid using the term ‘personas desaparecidas’ (missing persons) in public, and instead refer to ‘pedidos de paraderos de personas’ (requests for whereabouts of people).
The files also show the military dictatorship had plans for the country until the year 2000. An Action Plan devised by the then-Planning Chief General Díaz Bessone divided the government’s plans into two phases: the first, “foundation stage”, until the 1990s, and the second stage, or “new republic”, until the year 2000.
The minister also showed a letter from the Association of Argentine Banks (ADEBA) concerning contributions to the government’s project schedule. “Therefore, as the president says, the coup was not just military but civilian-military, in these documents there is evidence to that effect,” concluded Rossi.