ARGENTINA: Dignity? We Got It

Among the blunt instruments in President Juan Perón's political knapsack is a 1948 law making it a punishable offense to write or say "anything that offends the dignity of any public official." Time and again under this law of desacato (disrespect), Argentine politicians and journalists have landed in jail for airing even mild anti-Peóon opinions. Said Perón in a speech this month: "We must keep the due dignity of office intact. This is only fair; otherwise systematic attacks will become customary, and who can say how far that will take us?"

Last week the desacato law took some Argentines in...

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