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Part I - State Department Opens Files on Argentina's Dirty War

Documents describe key death squad under former army chief Galtieri

Part II - Argentine Military Believed U.S. Gave Go-ahead for Dirty War

New State Department documents show conflict between Washington and US Embassy in Buenos Aires over signals to the military dictatorship at height of repression in 1976

More Declassified Documents on Argentina: 
Joint CELS-Archive selection of previously declassified  documents (site in Spanish)

 
 
 

 

December 8, 2002
For more information contact:
National Security Archive

Carlos Osorio 202/994-7000
Thomas Blanton 202/994-7000

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US Declassified Documents: Argentine Junta Security Forces Killed, Disappeared Activists, Mothers and Nuns

US officials were split in blaming the Generals, made considerable efforts to find and save victims, but then dropped demands to find those responsible

On the 25th anniversary of the disappearance of leaders of the internationally renowned civil disobedience group the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, recently declassified US documents show that the Embassy in Buenos Aires had evidence of the Argentine Military Junta's responsibility in the crime. The US dedicated substantial resources to establish the whereabouts of the victims and protect their lives, but once it learned they had been killed, it dropped the demand to the Junta to find and punish the perpetrators and discipline officers condoning it.

Between December 8 and 10, 1977, Azucena Villaflor de Vicenti, along with 11 members and friends of the Mothers were kidnapped by Argentine government forces and never seen again. De Vicenti had helped found the group of mothers of victims precisely because of this new type of atrocity: those kidnapped and then disappeared by security forces. (Sequence of events as described by a Political Officer at the Embassy)

A review by the National Security Archive of the Department of State's recently declassified documents on Argentina reveals that as early as 10 days after the disappearances the U.S. Embassy intelligence sources started reporting on the involvement of the Argentine Navy, the Army First Corps, and later the Presidential State Intelligence Service and a military detention facility in the crime and cover up.

On March 30, 1978, the US Embassy informed having "[c]onfidential information obtained through an Argentine government source (protect) that seven bodies were discovered some weeks ago on the Atlantic beach near Mar del Plata. According to this source, the bodies were those of the two nuns and five mothers who disappeared between December 8 and December 10, 1977. Our source confirmed that these individuals were originally sequestered by members of the security forces..."

It is known today that the 12 disappeared victims were detained and tortured at the Navy Mechanical School. One of the most dramatic documents in this selection is an eyewitness' detailed description and sketches of the unit's clandestine center, torture chambers, and chain of command. A detainee himself, the eyewitness also reported seeing and talking to one of the French nuns who were part of the Mothers group. The document was circulated to foreign press and the Embassies in 1977.

The string of numerous cables between December 1977 and March 1978 attests to the US Embassy's considerable efforts to find and protect the kidnapped Mother's group members.

"We have tried hard to clarify the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of two French nuns and some 11 other argentine citizens in a series of abductions December 8-10. Our findings are contradictory and inconclusive, and the fact remains that at this writing we have no sure knowledge regarding the nuns' abductors or their - present whereabouts -our sources generally agree that the operation was carried out by some arm of the security forces..."

The documents also show that Embassy staffers were split on whether to blame the Argentine Military. In one memorandum, a political officer in charge of human rights at the Embassy, frustrated at the Embassy's failure to blame the Military Junta for the crime, wrote:

 "I presented a full description of what had happened to [the mothers].  This was voted down by the country team as being mere speculation and the Embassy once again stated that we continued to be puzzled by the disappearance of the nuns… Although the country team is puzzled regarding the nuns disappearance, based on the facts presented it is clear by [blank] of the circumstantial evidence that this is not an out of control operation… I have done a number of cables which tied in reported events to targeting by the Argentine security forces of individuals for intellectual subversion.  This has been taken out of all of messages going out.  Just this week one of our military attaché had one of his reports turned back by the front office"

On learning from the US Embassy of the heinous death of the mothers, the Department of State instructs the Embassy to present a demarche before President Videla.

"Department believes we must act forcefully now to make GOA aware of our outrage at such acts… Ambassador should continue presentation by suggesting that GOA consider actions which can be taken against the people who committed this crime.  They should be brought to trial and if some in authority winked at the crime those involved should be disciplined."

Ambassador Castro did present a demarche but then the US followed the path of the French and the Catholic Church, as well as Ambassador Castro's suggestions of not pressing for accountability of the disappeared. The declassified documents show that the issue of finding and punishing those responsible for the mothers' and nuns' assassination was dropped from further human rights discussion between the US and Argentina.

In a remarkable document, Ambassador Raul Castro foresaw what would happen after the Argentine government issued a final list of detainees that did not account for thousands of disappeared:

 "The one-issue groups, such as the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, will clamor for the government to make an accounting for the missing. The issue will be increasingly and dramatically reported internationally… [But] We should avoid… demanding accountability for the disappeared, since that does nothing directly to eliminate further abuses."

The following 16 documents were selected from the 4,700 declassified last August by the US Department of State on human rights violations in Argentina.


The Documents

Document 1
December 19, 1977 - Mothers of Plaza de Mayo
Memorandum of Conversation from Regional Security Officer (RSO) James Kelly to Ambassador Castro

Only ten days after the disappearance of the Mothers, the Embassy's security official receives information from a source implicating the Navy in the crime. "[The] RSO recently met with a senior member of the Argentine Security Forces who has been involved in the counter - subversion program for approximately 5 years. Source has reported reliably in the past and is knowledgeable concerning Army and Federal Security Service operations in the greater Buenos Aires region. Source stated that the Federal Security Service and, to the best of his knowledge, the Army, were not involved in the Plaza de Mayo Mothers or of the two French nuns. Either they were taken into custody by the Navy or they were kidnapped by Montonero forces. The most likely explanation is that they are victims of the political ambitions of [Navy] Admiral Massera who has been seeking ways of undermining President Videla's influence. The kidnapping of the Mothers and Nuns just prior to Christmas holidays would undermine Videla's 'Peace by Christmas' position and hold him up to international ridicule. Also, it would weaken his Position as President and leader of Government in Argentina..."

Document 2
December 20, 1977 - Disappearance of Mothers Group's 'Supporters': latest developments
Telegram from Ambassador Castro to Department of State

The First Army Corps, led by renown human rights violator General Carlos Guillermo Suarez Mason, had announced that they possessed a letter in which insurgent Montoneros acknowledged responsibility for the kidnapping of two of the Mothers' collaborators. A group of relatives of the disappeared mothers visited the Embassy on December 19, "to urge the US government to continue its pressure against the government of Argentina to release their relatives. They claimed that international pressure from the US and France was the only hope for their relatives' release. They characterized the Montonero document as being a fabrication. The family members argued that all the events bear the clear hallmark of a security force operation... Family members are also concerned that in the "Montonero" document only the two French nuns were mentioned with no discussion of the others taken. We have deployed embassy resources as best we could to try and get to the bottom of this murky business. Not surprisingly even our contacts within government privately discount the "Montonero ploy."

 Document 3
Circa, January 1978 - List of Mothers Group Members Who Disappeared on December 8 and 10, [1977]

The victims listed in this document are:

Maria Ponce de Bianco
Esther Cariaga
Eduardo Gabriel Orane
Patricia Cristina Oviedo
Raquel Bulit, Angela Aguada
Jose Julio Fondabila
Gustavo Nino
Remo Berardo
Azucena de Vicenti
Alicia Domon (Sister Alicia)
Renee Duquet (Sister Leonie)

Years later, Argentine investigators identified Gustavo Nino as Navy Lieutenant Alfredo Astiz, who had infiltrated the Mothers group. According to the 1984 report of the National Commission of the Disappeared, "[b]etween the months of October and November of 1977, Astiz began to attend masses, public acts and meetings carried out then by the relatives of the disappeared, using the identity of Gustavo Nino."

The report concluded that "[t]he twelve people finally kidnapped were held in the [Navy Mechanic School’s] 'capucha’ for very few days; they were then transferred. During that time they were lead to the cellar where they were interrogated and tortured by [Navy] Capt. Acosta, Antonio Pernía, [Army] Major Coronel, Lt. Schelling or Scheller (aka.) 'Pingüino’ and Subprefect (aka.) 'Selva"(Silvia Labayru - Legajo N° 6838)."

Document 4
January 16, 1978 - Information Concerning the Disappearance of Two French Catholic Nuns
Memorandum of Conversation between American Consul General and Coca Cola President

The President of Coca Cola informed the American Consul that "two intelligence officers of the Argentine Army are employed by Coca-Cola on a part-time basis as plant security advisers... As they have been completely reliable informants in the past, Sr. Ornstein is inclined to believe what they told him regarding the nuns. He said that one of these officers 'works on cases of people being held under the Poder Ejecutivo Nacional,' and that when he discussed the matter of the nuns with the officers he asked, 'Why be so stupid as to blame the Montoneros for taking the two into custody?' They replied that their colleagues took the nuns into custody because they were angry at the moderateness of the government and want sterner measures taken. They stated that their colleagues regard the order of nuns to which the two nuns belong as leftist... According to the two officers with whom Sr. Ornstein spoke, the nuns are being held in one of the [Argentine President's State Intelligence Service] SIDE places of detention... Sr. Ornstein went on to say that he subsequently had dinner with General Jofre, Under Secretary of the Presidency, and asked him, jokingly, what he was going to do with the nuns. Jofre replied, "Isn't this a disaster?" According to Sr. Ornstein, Jofre implied that the Presidency is desperate because the intelligence officers have been given considerable latitude and now the government doesn't know how to stop them. The dilemma is how to release the nuns when the commander of the regiment in Buenos Aires announced that the nuns were in the hands of the Montoneros."

Document 5
January 20, 1978 - Disappearance of French Nuns and Mothers' Group Supporters
Telegram from Ambassador Raul Castro to Department of State

The Ambassador indicates the Embassy does not know the level of responsibility for the disappearance. He also states that important players estimate that the Mothers' group had been killed, that the Argentine government considers the case closed, and that diplomatic protests will not be helpful.

 "Summary: we have tried hard to clarify the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of two French nuns and some 11 other argentine citizens in a series of abductions December 8-10. Our findings are contradictory and inconclusive, and the fact remains that at this writing we have no sure knowledge regarding the nuns' abductors or their - present whereabouts -our sources generally agree that the operation was carried out by some arm of the security forces, but which specific group and the level of responsibility is unclear. The supposed Montonero note claiming  responsibility for the abduction has been generally discounted and the government's failure to follow up or publicly play that lead indicates that not even GOA is seriously convinced of Montonero involvement. End summary."

"[D]espite an ‘exhaustive search’ GOA has no information on what happened to the nuns.  [A source] believes Minister of Interior Harguindeguy is suggesting that the case should be considered closed."
 
"The French and
Vatican embassies appear to have lapsed into resignation and doubt that any further action would have any positive effect.  Officials from both embassies have speculated privately to embassy officers that they fear the nuns are dead.  There is also no indication that the French are inclined to take any dramatic action which might prejudice other bilateral interests, including important commercial ties.  At this point there seems to be little more that diplomatic protest can produce, except possibly even greater frustration for the government in its inability to determine what happened in this case--or more surely reticence if it is deliberately withholding information which would prove too damaging to reveal. Castro"

Document 6
January 26, 1978 - Diplomatic Efforts on Behalf of the Thirteen Argentines and Two French Nuns who Disappeared in December
Memorandum from acting Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs John A. Bushnell to Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher

The Department of State was preparing to decide on how the US should vote at the upcoming spring World Bank meeting. This Memorandum, based on US Embassy reporting, informed the Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher that "[t]he question of who engineered the kidnappings remains totally unresolved. Our Embassy has sought assiduously to come up with reliable information, but none is available. Some blame the Navy, some blame the Army, and some blame the Federal Police. No one doubts that elements of the Argentine government are implicated in this affair, but hard facts are unavailable. We will continue to press for information and to make representations on behalf of those who disappeared."

But the Deputy Secretary was not receiving all the information from the Embassy. As Political Officer Tex Harris complained to Assistant Secretary for Human Rights Patt Derian a few months later:

"We were asked just before the IFI Christopher Committee [1] vote to send in a balance sheet of human rights activities. I presented a full description of what had happened to [them].  This was voted down by the country team as being mere speculation and the Embassy once again stated that we continued to be puzzled by the disappearance of the nuns..."

The point Harris made was that although it was not clear which unit kidnapped the Mothers, the modus operandi clearly pointed to official Argentine sanction of it. "Although the country team is puzzled regarding the nuns disappearance, based on the facts presented it is clear by [blank] of the circumstantial evidence that this is not an out of control operation." [See the May 31, 1978, Human Rights Overview below]

[1] One of the tools the Department of State used to exert pressure on the Argentine Military Junta to improve their performance in human rights was the U.S. vote on funding by the International Funding Institutions (IFI’s). The vote in these institutions was decided by a Department of State committee headed by Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher, who usually served as arbiter between Assistant Secretary for Human Rights Patt Derian and Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs Terence A. Todman.

Document 7
February 22, 1978 - US Position on IBRD Loans for Argentina
Press Guidance

The US abstained from voting on $120 million by the World Bank's International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).  In light of the past U.S. votes against funds for the Argentine Military Junta, the abstention was a clear recognition of the Military Junta.

Q: What Position did the US take with respect tot he two loans for Argentina which were approved by the IBRD yesterday? (Loan facts: $109 million for grain sales; $9 million for a cement plant.)
A: The
US representative abstained on these loans. Our position reflects our continuing concern over the human rights situation in Argentina, particularly as reports
of disappearances continue.
Q: But doesn't abstention represent a change? Hasn't the
US been voting "no" previously?
A: The
US decision to abstain was taken in view of indications that the Argentine Government may be recent taking steps to correct its human rights practices.
Q; What recent indications are you referring to?
A: Recent actions by the Government of
Argentina include publication of prisoner lists, action to speed up the request of option whereby political prisoners may opt for voluntary exile, and recent prisoner releases."

Document 8
March 28, 1978 - The Problem of Those Who Disappeared         More Quotes
Telegram from Ambassador Raul Castro to Department of State

Ambassador Castro had spent months in talks with Argentine government officials on publishing a list of all the detainees, establishing the right for dissidents to exile, and working to restore the rule of law. In this cable, the Ambassador analyzes US options at a time when the Argentine Military Junta was about to publish a final list of detainees that will not necessarily account for scores of disappeared people.

"6. The problem for the GOA:
Those who have been maintaining the hope that disappeared relatives may turn up will feel their sense of loss acutely.  The one-issue groups, such as the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, will clamor for the government to make an accounting for the missing. The issue will be increasingly and dramatically reported internationally.  However, we doubt that it will assume significant domestic political proportions..."

"The publications of the lists of detainees, however, together with the implementation of the right of option (voluntary exile) program have set the stage for further modifications of the GOA counter-terrorist practices. These moves, minimal though they be, create some momentum in the direction of a return to due process and normality.  We already see -- as in the church's letter to the government -- growing pressures to charge or free those held under the executive authority and to cease the irregular detention practices (abduction) regularly used by the security forces."

"8. The problem for the United States government:
When events require that there be public acknowledgment of many thousands of presumed dead in Argentina, the USG will have to comment on the situation in dealing with Congress and international organizations, human rights groups, and particularly friends and relatives of the missing. The embassy recommends that the US avoid supporting demands that the GOA account for the missing. We believe this would be fruitless and might divert us from the opportunity that lies in the current situation… The embassy recommends that in correspondence and public statements about the problem of those missing in Argentina, the USG avoid language that would stigmatize this government and instead focus attention on the prospects for improved observance of human rights in Argentina."


Ambassador Castro proposes that this is the right time for a demarche that "[c]ould usefully set forth some specific reforms which would permit the USG to abstain on further IFI votes on Argentine loans. We should concentrate on the arrest procedures at this stage, for they are the mechanism for the worst abuses. We should avoid pressing for individual releases--a tactic which the GOA has successfully used to blunt the force of the USG pressures--and should avoid demanding accountability for the disappeared, since that does nothing directly to eliminate further abuses."

Document 9
March 30, 1978 - Report of Nuns Death
Telegram from Ambassador Castro to Department of State

A source informs the Embassy “that the nuns were abducted by argentine security agents and at some point were transferred to a prison located in the town of Junin, which is about 150 miles west of Buenos Aires.

4. Embassy also has confidential information obtained through an Argentine government source (protect) that seven bodies were discovered some weeks ago on the Atlantic beach near
Mar del Plata. According to this source, the bodies were those of the two nuns and five mothers who disappeared between December 8 and December 10, 1977. Our source confirmed that these individuals were originally sequestered by members of the security forces acting under their broad mandate against terrorists and subversives. Source further stated that few individuals in GOA were aware of this information.

5. This source has reported reliably in the past and we have reason to believe that he is knowledgeable concerning disappearance questions. Embassy requests that his report be protected in order to avoid compromising a source who has proven helpful in reporting information concerning missing and disappeared individuals. Castro"


Document 10
April 7, 1978 - Reports of Nuns Death
Telegram from Secretary of State Cyrus Vance to Ambassador Castro

On learning of the heinous death of the Mothers, the Department of State instructs the Embassy to present a demarche before President Videla.

"Department believes we must act forcefully now to make GOA aware of our outrage at such acts… Ambassador should continue presentation by suggesting that GOA consider actions which can be taken against the people who committed this crime.  They should be brought to trial and if some in authority winked at the crime those involved should be disciplined."

Document 11
April 10, 1978 - Conversation with president Videla on nuns death
Telegram from Ambassador Castro to Department of State

Ambassador Castro presented a demarche before President Videla. "I said the reports of the deaths of the two nuns had dealt a serious blow to USG views of argentine progress on observance of human rights.  It was our view that it is crucial for the GOA to establish responsibility for the deaths of nuns and punish those responsible."

"In a discussion with French ambassador on April 7, he told me that the GOF had concluded that it is fruitless to press the GOA further on the whereabouts of the nuns-- bilateral relations had now become severely strained.  The GOF had decided upon a course which parallels that of the argentine church; pressing for improved treatment of prisoners, trial or release of executive detainees, and regularized arrest procedures.  We will continue to report any plausible information we receive about the nuns and their associates. Castro."

Subsequently, the US followed the path of the French and the Catholic Church, as well as Ambassador Castro’s suggestions of not pressing for accountability on the disappeared. The issue of finding and punishing those responsible for the mothers’ and nuns’ assassination was dropped from the demarche made in Washington  the day after, and from the issues raised by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Newsom in his mid-year visit to Argentina.

Document 12
April 10, 1978 – [Letter  Implicating the Argentine Navy in the Disappearance of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo]
Letter from escaped Navy prisoner Horacio Domingo Maggio to Associated Press

On March 17, 1978, Maggio escaped from the Navy Mechanical School. In this letter he describes how he was able to talk to French nun Sister Alice Domon the day after she was kidnapped. "[S]he told me that they had been kidnapped and that they had been made, under torture, to write a letter by hand in French,  addressed to the Superior of their Order, and that photographs had been taken of them in what they thought was the basement of the above mentioned building. She also told me that 11 other persons had been kidnapped with them.  They remained at the Navy Mechanical School for about ten days and later were 'transferred' with eleven other persons to an unknown place."

The U.S. Embassy doubted the veracity of Maggio’s statements. It was not until January 1979 that the US Embassy believed the contents of the letter and sent it to the Department of State. Maggio was recaptured and disappeared in August 1978.

Document 13
April 26, 1978 - [Human Rights]                         More Quotes
Letter from US Embassy Political Officer Tex Harris to Department of State desk officers Michelle and Jim

"We got a fabulous letter today -- a detailed report of the detention and torture facilities at the [Argentine Navy's] Mechanical School. The sender claims to have seen the Nuns. The smart $$$$ here believes that is an Army intelligence black operation..."

"One of the jargon breakthroughs we have made recently concerns DAMS --Personas bajo disposicion autoridad militar. This is the argot for the disappeared but alive non recognized prisoners. In a casual conversation last week with a military contact, I asked when such DAMS would be recognized and I was told that the PON (ie SOP) was that DAM prisoners' names are secret. I am trying to work out a report listing all the possible places where DAMS could be housed. Most of the places that we know of are small, with one exception - a recently built military prison outside of Junin, Prov. B.A. We have been told that the new facility has not been placed into service. The attaches have filed an intelligence report about the place and estimate that it would hold up to a 1000 persons with some crowding. I hope that I can get something out that will be meaningful. The problem is that very few people are released from the detention centers which are outside of the law."

"They have started harassing the mothers group again on the Plaza de Mayo. Evidently, the number of mothers meeting there on Thursday has started to grow. It fell sharply after the leaders were disappeared in early December. Recently, according to the mothers, there have been about 200 mothers present. Last Thursday, the cops moved in and cleared off the entire square. There was no violence; the mothers are becoming experts at civil disobedience you only get arrested when you want to be arrested. I will close with my best regards and a bon mot -- Argentina is the only country in the world where you are safe in the streets, but not in your home."

Document 14
April 27, 1978 - Letter Accusing Argentine Navy of Human Rights Violations -- Possible Provocation         More Quotes
Telegram from Ambassador Castro to Department of State

"1. On April 20 the Embassy received a registered letter of ten pages and three pages of enclosures purportedly written by a Montonero who had recently escaped from 13 months imprisonment in the Naval Mechanics School in Buenos Aires.  The letter cites cases number of prominent Argentines who have disappeared over the past year who were held and tortured at the Mechanics School.  It states that the two French Nuns who disappeared in December 77 were also held there..."

"2. A review of the letter purportedly signed by Horacio Domingo Maggio raised suspicions in our minds that it may be some sort of provocation. It seems only too convenient for many of the most prominent atrocities of the past year to have been the work of one Naval unit... We are trying confirm that other copies of the letter exist.  The Embassy is actively seeking informed Argentine opinion about this letter and will report promptly when sufficient information has been received."

Document 15
May 15, 1978 – Drawing of the Navy Mechanical School
Note from US Embassy Political Officer Tex Harris to Department of State desk officers Jim and Michelle

"These are the drawings of the navy mechanical school provided by our mysterious source."

Officers' Club

Entrance to the Officers' Club

Third Floor

Basement (torture chamber)

Document 16
May 31, 1978 - [Human Rights Overview]                 More Quotes
Transcription of cassette audio report from Political Officer Tex Harris to Assistant Secretary of State Patt Derian

In a detailed and broad report, Harris described the status of the human rights situation in Argentina, the counterinsurgency campaign by security forces including those which President Videla considered guilty of 'bad thoughts', and the dissenting opinions of staffers regarding the Embassy reporting about human rights.

"Reporting
The Embassy sent a report on the [disappearance of the Mothers and the French] nuns during my absence; it ended up by saying that we were puzzled.  We were asked just before the IFI Christopher Committee vote to send in a balance sheet of human rights activities. I presented a full description of what had happened to [them].  This was voted down by the country team as being mere speculation and the Embassy once again stated that we continued to be puzzled by the disappearance of the nuns..."
 

"Although the country team is puzzled regarding the nuns disappearance, based on the facts presented it is clear by [blank] of the circumstantial evidence that this is not an out of control operation… Unfortunately the Embassy official position is that the disappearance of the nuns is still inexplicable.  The reason it is inexplicable is because it is another concrete manifestation that the government has changed its targeting.  The first phase of the targeting repression in the country was of course the hardcore Montonero and [unintelligible] terrorists, they have been virtually eliminated. The second phase which began some six months ago which the Embassy has still not reported on was focusing its repressive midnight operations on the Marxists intellectuals subversives, people who in Videla's definition are guilty of 'bad thoughts.' Our files are bulging with student leaders, psychologists, psychiatrists, members of socialist discussions groups, etc. who have disappeared... "

"I have done a number of cables which tied in reported events to targeting by the Argentine security forces of individuals for intellectual subversion.  This has been taken out of all of messages going out.  Just this week one of our military attaché had one of his reports turned back by the front office in which one of his military contacts in the Argentine Air Force described the government’s efforts at weeding out Marxists and subversives..."

"The Chacarita cemetery story which you heard from [unintelligible] has also been surfaced around in the French Embassy.  The French are convinced that among that group were there nuns. One police sergeant who evidently stumbled across the truck bringing the cadavers to… [a] field outside of, on the outskirts of greater
Buenos Aires.  Local people did not know that they existed until an armed helicopter came down and finger printed them.  Another story is between 36 and 40 women who were washed ashore Amandayaho [sic] which is near a beach resort area 200 miles from Buenos Aires down the river. "

"This later appearance with information that we developed, but again [were] unable to report, from the Argentine police official who bragged to one of our Embassy officers regarding the Argentine method for disposing of bodies.  This is now according to the source been centralized in an operation in for all actions occurring within the first corp.  People after they have been interrogated or are deemed no longer of use and a decision has been made at a senior level they should be executed.  The people are then being told that they are being transferred to Corrientes Province and must receive an injection before they go for health reasons.  The people gracefully submit to the injection which contains curia which is a derivative of the poison used by Amazon natives in their blow guns. Evidently it has the effect of contracting the muscles.  By receiving the dose the people very shortly there after die and one of the effects of the poison is to contract their lungs.  They are then placed in planes which take off at the de Campo de Mayo airfield and are dropped in the mouth of the river where they sink and are quickly devoured by the fish..."

 

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