The speech of the candidate for president of Argentina for the La Libertad Avanza party (LLA), Javier Mileiwent from denialism and relativizing what happened during the last civil-military dictatorship, to almost exactly repeating speeches and arguments used by dictators such as Jorge Rafael Videla and Emilio Massera.
They spoke of “war” and “excesses” to try to justify the genocide that occurred after the last coup d’état, in 1976. Milei followed them: “During the 70s there was a war in which the forces of the State they committed excesses“This is how he defined the aberrant crimes of the dictatorship in the middle of the presidential debate.
As if that were not enough, the ultra hammered home an idea that leaders of Together for Change also put on the table on other occasions. He said that “There were not 30 thousand missing people” but “8,753”, an old figure from the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons (CONADEP), expressly indicated as provisional by its members, and which, furthermore, was surpassed years ago.
The Government and human rights organizations came out to repudiate the positions that vindicate and attempt to justify state terrorism.
The Human Rights Secretariat, headed by the recovered grandson Horacio Pietragalla Cortiwhose parents were murdered during the dictatorship, he announced that in the coming weeks he will publish “a report on the universe of victims of State terrorism that will contribute to dismantling these denialist positions.”
Milei’s phrases, they stressed, “take us back to the speeches that dictatorship itself used to justify a genocide and which those responsible for those crimes later used to seek impunity.
“In Argentina there was no war nor were there excesses. There was a terrorist State that planned and executed a massacre to impose an economic model, eliminating all political dissidence,” the Secretariat said in a statement.
Regarding the doubt that Milei wants to raise regarding the number of missing persons, the Secretariat clarified that “the total number of detainees-disappeared and victims of State terrorism is not known due to the illegal and clandestine nature of the State’s actions. For “That will always be indeterminate, it is under construction and growing permanently.”
His words were compared on the networks with those of the dictator Emilio MasseraFor example, during the 1985 Junta Trial. It is almost identical. Both talk about “war” and “excesses.”
So did the dictator Jorge Rafael Videlaon September 9, 1977, as the journalist recalled Luciana Bertoiawhen he met with the president James Carter in the United States and in a declassified file it can be read that Videla spoke of “excesses or abuses of power.”
Milei, far from regretting his words, on Monday again endorsed them in radio statements in which he reinforced that “it cannot be built from lies,” and that using a figure different from that of 30,000 disappeared detainees “is not a denial, but seek the truth.”
Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo
The reference of human rights organizations and president of Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, Carlotto’s Stele, expressed that “the people have to wake up,” and that “although we think differently about some things, we must ask ourselves if we all want this liar, who stains the history of our country, to be President.” “It can’t be,” he said.
In addition, he expressed that Milei “offends in a brutal way to families who have been left without our children, and to the grandmothers who have a double pain.
In dialogue with Page 12, Taty AlmeidaMother of the NGO Plaza de Mayo Línea Foundadora, added: “Nothing can be expected from this character who is not only a denialist, but he and his party partner claim and They try to justify the genocide“.
“It is a horrible and regrettable duo because they are permanently disrespecting the memory of our children and their 30,000 companions,” he reinforced. For the Mother of Plaza de Mayo it was also very painful that the figure was questioned: “There are 30,000 and more cases are presented every day that were not reported,” he said.
“We Mothers totally repudiate the fact that these individuals continue to deny and vindicate the genocide that occurred in our country and make it believe that there were no excesses. The military in the process are all murderers“said the 93-year-old fighter and then began with a painful list: “What excesses are you talking about? My God. Throwing the Mothers, the French nuns and who knows how many more living people into the sea on the death flights do they consider it to be a war? Is torturing pregnant women until they had their babies and then stealing them and killing them a war? Are those the ‘excesses’ they talk about? “Our children were tortured and died under the effects of the horrible things that were done to them and now we have to endure these things,” she remarked with indignation.
Finally, he remembered the young people murdered during the Night of the Pencilsjust for being militants, and the victims of the St. Patrick’s massacre, in which three priests and two Pallottine seminarians were murdered. “There are so many cases and they have the courage not to recognize that there was a genocide. It is regrettable,” he concluded.
The head of the Cabinet of Ministers of Argentina, Agustín Rossi, also spoke about Milei’s statements. He recalled that in the vice president debate he had said that the La Libertad Avanza party “is a political space no commitment to democracy“, and that “neither Milei nor Victoria Villarruel (vice-presidential candidate) use the word ‘dictatorship’, and prefer to call it ‘military government’“.
Furthermore, regarding the figure, Rossi recalled that there is a declassified document from the United States Government from 1978 in which the Argentine military recognizes that in two years they made 22,000 Argentines disappear. “If in three years they made 22,000 disappear, one can determine that number of 30,000. But they use that discussion to disqualify the fight of the organizations and because they seek the vindication of the perpetrators,” he pointed out.
The current president, Alberto Fernandezwho watched the debate from the Quinta de Olivos (the main presidential residence), also posted a photo on their social networks with the slogan “Never Again.”
“It is unsustainable that someone continues to deny and justify the genocidal dictatorship that tortured, murdered, stole babies, caused disappearances and condemned thousands of Argentines to exile,” he said.
From the government they considered that on the issue of human rights it was seen again “that Milei is the original and Bullrich the second brand or the copy”, because “they both have a model that closes with repression, only Milei speaks like Videla and Bullrich disguises it by saying that he is in favor of the police in the case of Santiago Maldonado.”
There were also repudiations from rights defense organizations such as International Amnesty and the Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS). “They were not ‘excesses’. It was not ‘a war’. It was state terrorism. The figure is open because there are still bodies that are still missing and because there are things that we do not know,” Amnesty expressed through the X network, formerly Twitter .
He CELS He indicated that Milei “used the same terms with which the military tried to justify their crimes: ‘war’ and ‘excesses’,” and that with that “he seeks to mask a truth.”
Charly Pisoni, from CHILDREN, added in dialogue with this newspaper that “we do not have to naturalize those who have speeches that trivialize or minimize genocide, nor those who advocate crime like Milei and Villarruel.” Furthermore, he expressed regarding the questioning of the number of missing persons that “the final number does not matter. What matters is that crimes were committed.” heinous crimes and this has been recognized by the State in different judicial rulings.”
“We do not know the exact figure precisely because they have never told us the truth about the fate or what they did with the bodies of the missing. But we can take advantage of this situation so that people like Villarruel, who had and has fluid contact with the genocidaires, investigate the figures and tell us where the bodies are,” Pisoni remarked.
Finally, he encouraged prosecutors to denounce the candidates for apology of crime. “What they are doing is not just denialism, but advocacy of crime. Since there are so many prosecutors, someone who heard the debate could act ex officio and denounce them for that,” he concluded.