Argentina: Clipped Wings

Alfonsín takes on the military

Peering over his half-moon reading glasses during a hastily arranged television broadcast, Argentina's newly elected President, Raúl Alfonsín, last week made the most dramatic announcement of his young administration. In the dry tones of a country lawyer, Alfonsín told his nationwide audience that he was sending to Congress a measure pressing charges of murder and torture against the leaders of three military juntas that waged the antiterrorist "dirty war" of the 1970s. During that period, at least 6,000 Argentine citizens disappeared. "The past casts a shadow over our future," he declared. "Utterly aberrant violations...

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