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Home of prominent Argentine opposition figure attacked by Macri supporters

The governor of the Argentine Province of Santa Cruz, Alicia Kirchner, was the target of a violent attack on her home yesterday. The attack took place during a personal visit by the governor's sister-in-law, former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

The incident occurred shortly after midnight on Saturday when a group of supporters of President Mauricio Macri, holding signs with racial epithets common to right-wing protests during Cristina Kirchner's 2007-15 tenure as president, forced open the main gate to the governor's residence.

Once inside, the group ransacked the front yard, pelted the residence with rocks and human feces, and destroyed the gas meter. Cristina and Alicia Kirchner, who were alone in the house with three housekeepers and Cristina Kirchner's 18-month old grand-daughter, were able to keep the group from battering the front door open by piling furniture against the door.

A Gendarmerie unit arrived at the scene around 1 a.m. to disperse the group, which left only after tear gas and rubber bullets were fired. Two protesters were injured by rubber bullets, as well as an ambulance driver and a news photographer who were injured by rocks thrown by protesters.

The group had joined a larger protest of some 500 members of the Santa Cruz chapter of the Argentine State Employees' Union (ATE), which did not take part in the attack and later repudiated it as well as the police response.

"This attack was planned," Governor Alicia Kirchner said. "It was instigated by right-wing media and politicians such as Congressman Eduardo Costa (a Macri ally). They want my head for the upcoming mid-term elections."

Former President Fernández de Kirchner held the Macri administration responsible for the protests that preceded the attack. She noted that since Macri took office, federal revenue sharing for Santa Cruz Province has declined by 85% even as revenue sharing for the City of Buenos Aires (Macri's stronghold) rose, by decree, by 168% in 2016 alone.

"They even canceled a large hydroelectric project being built jointly with China," she added. "This was important not only for Santa Cruz but for the whole country."

Santa Cruz, a scenic but nearly desolate province in Argentina's windswept Patagonia, is among the most prosperous in the nation but has been hard-hit by the slump in world oil and gas prices since 2014. Its finances are also saddled by a public sector workforce of some 86,000 employees - for a population of 320,000.

Governor Kirchner, who has frozen hiring but so far has avoided layoffs, has announced a $350 million bond issue to cover this year's deficit and to cover March paychecks owed to some 30% of state employees. The Macri administration, however, so far refuses to approve the issuance despite approving over $7 billion in provincial bonds during 2016; Santa Cruz was not among them.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldestapeweb.com%2Falicia-kirchner-conto-como-fue-el-ataque-su-vivienda-santa-cruz-n28060&edit-text=


Santa Cruz Governor Alicia Kirchner[/center]

Former Madrid boss Ignacio Gonzalez, close ally of Argentina's Macri, arrested on corruption charge

The former president of the Community of Madrid, Ignacio González, was arraigned on Friday following his arrest on charges of illegally diverted public funds into the coffers of his own political party, the right-wing Partido Popular (PP), as well as into his own accounts.

The Spanish Guardia Civil arrested González on Wednesday as part of Operation Lezo - an investigation into González's use of a cutout, the Obrascón Huarte Lain company, to embezzle and launder said funds for both illegal campaign finance and personal gain during his tenure as president of the Community of Madrid between 2012 and 2015.

The investigation, triggered by allegations that unlawful commissions were paid for awarding a contract to build a railway between two towns near Madrid that was ultimately never built, has been compared locally to the massive Brazilian Lava Jato (Car Wash) bribery scandal.

González, according to the leading Madrid news daily El País, "is considered the alleged leader of a plot that for years diverted public funds for personal enrichment."

Argentine connection

Among the largest contracts being investigated is the 2014 sale of 73 CAF Series 6000 wagons to the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, for use in its subways. The purchase, worth €32.6 million (nearly $40 million at the time), was made by then-Mayor Mauricio Macri, whom González considered a close ally and who in 2015 was narrowly elected president of Argentina.

The wagons, used by the Madrid Metro since 1998, were quickly found to be obsolete however, and forced the Argentine federal government to purchase a number of new, Chinese-made wagons instead - at a unit cost below that of the 16 year-old wagons.

The Spanish units, moreover, required over $30 million to be adapted to the Buenos Aires metro's relatively wide gauge as well as to differences in electrical systems. A third of these have not yet been incorporated to the rolling stock; some have instead been used for explosives tests.

Macri's policy of privatizing city services and unprecedented use of subcontractors have prompted numerous investigations over the past five years, though all remain stalled in the courts. Of particular concern to investigators have been the many contracts benefiting the Macri family firms IECSA and Creaurban, which together have received nearly $5 billion in state contracts since Macri took office as president 16 months ago.

Macri presided over a five-fold increase in Buenos Aires's municipal debt to $2.5 billion during his tenure as mayor from 2007 to 2015.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldestapeweb.com%2Fdetuvieron-madrid-un-aliado-macri-que-le-vendio-trenes-obsoletos-el-subte-n28031


Former Madrid boss Ignacio González: Hello, I must be going.[/center]

Amid police attacks and stalled wage talks, Argentine educators set up school in front of Congress

Representatives from Argentina's largest teachers' unions gathered in Buenos Aires' Congressional Plaza last week to protest both the federal government's refusal to enter into collective bargaining talks and over recent incidents involving police violence against educators and students.

While Argentina's teachers' unions have staged numerous protests against the right-wing Mauricio Macri administration or his chief surrogate, Buenos Aires Province Governor María Eugenia Vidal, over the last two months, this protest made headlines for its novel approach: the raising of a mock school building facing Congress.

Leading the ceremony were Sonia Alesso of the Federation of Argentine Educators (CTERA); Roberto Baradel of the Buenos Aires Province Teachers' Union (SUTEBA); Eduardo López of the Union of Education Workers (UTE); Hugo Yasky of the CTA (the second largest labor federation in Argentina); and David Edwards of Education International.

The structure, assembled with metal poles and a canvas shell painted to resemble the hundreds of mission-style schools built during the populist Juan Perón administration in the 1940s and '50s, was inaugurated on Wednesday. It's also a nod to the White Tent Protest held by teachers' unions between 1997 and 1999 against cuts to education imposed at the time by the market-friendly Carlos Menem administration.

"Don't waste taxpayer money spying on us and sending provocateurs," Alesso said during the ceremony, referring to Macri. "We've sought dialogue for two months now; follow the law and let us protest in peace."

Education International's David Edwards, visiting from the U.S., called on teachers to not give up. "I know you'll win, and that you'll get a decent agreement."

Law and orders

The move comes just after a teachers' union protest at the same site was violently quelled on the night of April 9 by municipal police. City officials justified the action, which resulted in two teachers being detained without charges and numerous injuries, by describing the demonstration as "unauthorized."

CTERA union officials, however, disproved the claim by producing a letter dated April 7 informing authorities of the upcoming protest, and approved by the city the same day. "This was done on Macri's orders," CTA union official Francisco Nenna said. "We know this because city officials (led by a Macri ally) themselves said so."

Another close Macri ally, Jujuy Province Governor Gerardo Morales, came under fire on April 13 for illegally ordering provincial police to break up a previously authorized meeting of faculty and students at the University of Jujuy. Two students were detained - including student body leader Joaquín Quispe, who was held overnight without charges and beaten.

Talks refused

The nation's six teachers' unions, which together represent over 500,000 teachers, are demanding wage hikes of 30% for 2017. The demand comes after inflation doubled to 45% within a year after President Macri was narrowly elected in a November 2015 runoff.

Inflation so far this year, running at 35%, is twice the 17% hike in the federal education budget signed by Macri for FY2017.

While a number of provinces have reached agreements with their teachers' unions, classes in most of Argentina have been delayed for five weeks as talks remain deadlocked with numerous governors and the federal government refuses to intervene.

The Macri administration, which held successful collective bargaining talks last year resulting in a 35% raise, has rejected holding them this year.

The "Itinerant Public School," as its organizers call it, meanwhile continues to host seminars on educational policy, films, cultural events dramatizing the dispute, and even classes. Some 27,000 people visited the site in its first three days, many of them for screenings of a documentary on slain teachers' union organizer Carlos Fuentealba.

UTE leader Eduardo López explained that the structure will be dismantled on April 19, in accordance with city permits, and will then be taken on the road.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.clarin.com%2Fsociedad%2Fgremio-docente-inauguro-escuela-itinerante-fuertes-discursos-denuncias-gobierno_0_H1yv1bhae.html&edit-text=

And: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldestapeweb.com%2Fpor-que-es-ilegal-que-ingrese-la-policia-las-universidades-nacionales-n27783


Panama Papers Wins Pulitzer Prize

Source: ICIJ

Columbia University announced today that the Panama Papers investigation has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting.

The Pulitzer Prize Board lauded year-long investigation for “using a collaboration of more than 300 reporters on six continents to expose the hidden infrastructure and global scale of offshore tax havens.”

The award is the latest in a series of accolades for the globe-spanning reporting effort by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), McClatchy, the Miami Herald, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and other media partners.

“This honor is a testament to the enterprise and teamwork of our staff and our partners here in the United States and around the world,” Gerard Ryle, ICIJ’s director, said. “We’re honored that the Pulitzer Board recognized the groundbreaking revelations and worldwide impact that the Panama Papers collaboration produced.”

The Panama Papers investigation exposed offshore companies linked to more than 140 politicians in more than 50 countries – including 14 current or former world leaders. It also uncovered offshore hideaways tied to mega-banks, corporate bribery scandals, drug kingpins, Syria’s air war on its own citizens and a network of people close to Russian President Vladimir Putin that shuffled as much as $2 billion around the world.

Five sitting heads of state or government - the Prime Minister of Iceland, Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson; the King of Saudi Arabia, Salman Al-Saud; the President of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa Al-Nahyan; the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko; and the President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri - were also among those listed.

Read more: https://panamapapers.icij.org/20170410-pulitzer-prize.html

Obama's Berlin visit to coincide with Trump in Brussels

Barack Obama is to visit Berlin on his first trip to Europe since leaving office. The former president will be in Germany on 25 May, the same day his successor, Donald Trump, is due in Brussels for a meeting of NATO leaders, in what is expected to be the incumbent U.S. president’s first foreign trip since taking office.

Obama will travel to Germany for the launch of a summer of celebratory events organised by the Protestant church to mark its 500th anniversary.

Whether intentional or not, the simultaneous presence of both men on the same continent will serve to underline the difficulty many Europeans have had in dealing with the concept of Trump as U.S. president, and the great deal of nostalgia that exists for the Obama era.

Obama is due to hold a speech in Berlin and to take part in a live discussion with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, titled “Actively shaping democracy – taking responsibility at home and abroad.” They will talk on a purpose-built stage in front of Berlin’s most prominent landmark, the Brandenburg Gate.

Obama’s trip follows his acceptance of an invitation sent last May by the bishop of Bavaria Heinrich Bedford-Strohm. More details about the visit are due to be released at a press conference on Wednesday.

At: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/11/obama-to-visit-berlin-and-join-merkel-at-protestant-church-event

They no doubt want to speak to a real president.

Argentina shuts down as Macri faces first general strike

Argentina was brought to a standstill on Thursday as labor unions demanding higher wages staged the country’s first general strike since President Mauricio Macri took office 15 months ago.

The 24-hour strike started at midnight, bringing to a halt public transport, airports, customs, schools, factories and some government offices in South America’s second largest economy.

Grain trucks dwindled at Argentina’s ports, with just 220 trucks with corn and soybeans lined up near plants around the city of Rosario. That compares with close to 3,000 trucks on Wednesday.

The main access points to the capital Buenos Aires were blocked by picketers on Thursday morning. Teachers in Buenos Aires Province, meanwhile, have been at loggerheads for weeks with Governor María Eugenia Vidal - a key Macri ally - over salary negotiations.

President Macri has said the strike will cost the economy 15 billion pesos ($970 million).

Marches and rallies were held throughout the country, with participants also protesting against the Macri administration's austerity measures - particularly subsidy cuts that have led to utility rate hikes of up to 1000%.

The unions argue that the end of the subsidies has led to job reductions and sky-rocketing prices.

Macri defends the measures, enacted mostly by decree shortly after he took office 16 months ago, as the best way to rein in budget deficits. The FY2016 deficit, however, rose by 62% to 365 billion pesos ($25 billion) as corporate tax cuts and the worst recession since 2002 reduced revenues.

While inflation slowed in the second half of the year from a 47% peak in July (the highest in 24 years), it remains stubbornly high at 35%. Prices in February alone rose by 2.5% after the government cut electricity rate subsidies further.

The retail, construction, and manufacturing sectors have been the hardest hit by the recession, with real retail sales down 4% in February after falling by 7% in 2016, an estimated 8,000 small and medium businesses failing, and around 250,000 layoffs.

Local television showed footage of skirmishes between riot police and protesters at the pickets. Six protesters were arrested and four injured in clashes as police attempted to break up a picket that was blocking one of the main entry points to Buenos Aires.

Security was heavy downtown, where the Latin American edition of the World Economic Forum was taking place. Speaking at the Buenos Aires Hilton, Macri joked he was "happy to be at work."

"The president may be happy to be at work," CGT labor federation leader Héctor Daer said. "What upsets us is that so many aren't."

At: https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-04-06/argentina-shuts-down-as-macri-faces-first-general-strike


Normally hectic on weekdays, Constitución Station was mostly silent on Friday as the CGT and CTA labor federations staged their first joint general strike since Macri took office.[/center]

Ally of Argentina's Macri reveals that his administration spies on opponents, and even Lionel Messi

The lead columnist for the Buenos Aires news daily La Nación, Carlos Pagni, revealed that under President Mauricio Macri, Argentina's Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI) is influenced by the president's confidants and business partners, and that prominent political figures and private citizens alike are being wiretapped.

"The intelligence agency is influenced by the president of the Boca Juniors football club, Daniel Angelici, and his 3rd vice-president, Darío Richarte," Pagni wrote. "They control the AFI's director of Finance, Juan José Gallea, and its Legal Affairs director, Juan Sebastián de Stefano - boyfriend of Silvia Loreley Bianco, the new head of the Buenos Aires Council of Magistrates" and a Macri ally.

Angelici, 52, is a close Macri business associate and confidant. He is currently under investigation over allegedly funneling around $100 million in tax evasion proceeds into a Panama shell company in 2014 - the existence of which was confirmed by the Open Corporates leak last April.

Both Pagni and La Nación have typically been supportive of the right-wing Macri administration.

Eavesdropping as policy

Pagni noted that the wiretapping of political figures, which already landed Macri an indictment in 2009 while mayor of Buenos Aires, has only intensified since he took office as president.

This practice recently made news when on January 23 a number of phone calls between Macri's main rival, former President Cristina Kirchner, and her close political adviser and friend Oscar Parrilli were leaked to right-wing media outlets supportive of Macri.

"These conversations circulate through the media without unleashing an institutional scandal," Pagni noted wryly. "And some self-appointed 'custodians of the Republic', such as Governor Juan Manuel Urtubey (a rival of Mrs. Kirchner's), comment on them as if they were official statements."

Kirchner is considering requesting the impeachment of Supreme Court Chief Justice Ricardo Lorenzetti over the case, given that in Argentina the Supreme Court must approve wiretaps and is responsible for curating them.

But the likely culprit behind the Kirchner-Parrilli leaks, Pagni believes, was Eduardo Miragaya, whom Macri appointed to the office that controls AFI files despite Miragaya's extensive record of falsifying records and other improprieties dating from the freewheeling Carlos Menem administration in the 1990s.

Pagni also revealed that among the private citizens under surveillance by the AFI is the famed, Argentine-born Barcelona football forward Lionel Messi.

"An agent whose name begins with G keeps Lionel Messi in his sights," Pagni wrote, noting that the agent's interest is mainly due to Messi's having opened an offshore account to evade taxes - which resulted in his brief arrest in Spain last July.

"Messi," Pagni nevertheless noted, "is an unexpected target."

The dismissal of the wiretapping case against Macri once he took office has meanwhile led to a criminal complaint against Angelici, in which he's alleged to have bribed the judge who issued the dismissal. The complaint, filed in November, remains open.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldestapeweb.com%2Frevelan-que-la-agencia-inteligencia-espia-messi-y-persigue-opositores-n27321


Macri and Angelici. With friends like these...[/center]

Martin Lousteau resigns as Argentine Ambassador to the United States

The Ambassador of Argentina to the United States, Martín Lousteau, has resigned. His decision was communicated to Argentine President Mauricio Macri during a phone call on Monday at 4 p.m., and reportedly surprised the president.

His resignation comes a week after an investigation by the top-rated Argentine news program El Destape revealed that the Macri administration had made a formal request to the U.S. Government for approval of a purchase of over $2 billion in military equipment.

The request, the largest single Argentine military order since shortly before the ill-fated Falklands/Malvinas War waged by the last dictatorship in 1982, included fighter jets, tanks, missiles, missile launchers, attack helicopters, and a variety of munitions and other equipment typically used in a war theater.

It was reportedly made on June 16, 2016, through the offices of Ambassador Lousteau with the stated purpose of "combating terrorism." In the letter, Lousteau had sought the approval of Congressman Pete Visclosky, a senior Indiana Democrat and the Ranking Member on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

The subcommittee and the U.S. Defense Department both approved the sale, and several helicopters and other materiel, El Destape found, has in fact already been purchased.

Political firestorm

The news created a political firestorm in Argentina not only for the secrecy with which the procurement was made; but for its price tag, which was far in excess of the budgeted request Macri presented to the Argentine Congress.

The outlay is being made at a time when subsidy cutbacks have forced utility rates up by up to 10-fold for consumers over the past year, while budget deficits continue to rise and the economy remains in its longest downturn since 2002.

Lousteau, who is expected to return to Argentina later this week, did not comment on specific reasons for his resignation. It's widely believed, however, that he intends to run for Congress this year, and possibly for mayor of Buenos Aires in 2019.

Polling shows the right-wing Macri, who appointed the more centrist Lousteau as ambassador within days of taking office 16 months ago, is increasingly unpopular even in his stronghold of Buenos Aires.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldestapeweb.com%2Ftras-las-revelaciones-el-destape-martin-lousteau-renuncio-la-embajada-argentina-estados-unidos-n27367&edit-text=


Lousteau in happier days[/center]

Argentine Congress overwhelmingly approves cannabis oil for medical use

The Argentine Senate unanimously approved the legalization of cannabis oil for medicinal use this evening, making the bill ready to be sent to President Mauricio Macri's desk for his signature.

Its passage in the Senate, with all 58 senators (out of 72) present voting in the affirmative, comes a full four months after the lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, did so on November 23 with 221 voting aye and just one abstention (out of 257).

President Macri, who as mayor of Buenos Aires staunchly opposed legalization of cannabis or any narcotic and who was narrowly elected in 2015 on a law-and-order platform, has not indicated whether he intends to sign the bill; but all members of his right-wing "Let's Change" caucus present in today's session voted for the popular measure.

The bill allows the Argentine Government to import and eventually cultivate marijuana for the distribution of cannabis oil to anyone in Argentina with a prescription. It falls short, however, of demands made by medical cannabis use advocates, which included the establishment of permits for those willing to cultivate their own.

The original version proposed by the center-left Front for Victory (FpV) caucus included these permits; but the provision was struck from the final version due to opposition from Macri's "Let's Change" caucus.

Mariana Quiroga of the advocacy group Mamá Cultiva, which represents those who already grow marijuana for the treatment of loved ones with painful chronic conditions, applauded the bill but noted that it "still leaves us unprotected from a State which persecutes us for growing marijuana, which for years has been the best medicine we've ever found for our loved ones in pain."

Alejandro Cibotti of the Network of Medicinal Cannabis Users (RUCAM) agreed, noting that besides allowing those with chronic pain to live normal lives it allows them to discontinue the use of Methadone and other highly addictive opiates.

Flexible and creative

Congresswoman Nilda Garré of the FpV, who supported the bill, called on Macri to be "flexible and creative in helping people deal with their health problems." Garré pointed to the fact that 20 European countries, 23 U.S. states, Canada, Chile, and Uruguay - as well as two Argentine provinces - already have such legislation on the books.

The Argentine Supreme Court in 2009 ruled it unconstitutional to prosecute citizens for possessing narcotics solely for personal use. The number of prison sentences issued under the country's Narcotics Law - many of which involved marijuana - nevertheless rose from 2,000 annually in 2009 to 3,000 currently.

The bill passed today does not address decriminalization in general, or the legal situation of those currently in prison for cultivation - even for medicinal use. One such case, Adriana Funaro, was sentenced to house arrest in February for growing marijuana to treat a hereditary osteoarthritis condition.

"We're persecuted no matter what the proof," she lamented. Her sentence was affirmed on appeal the day before passage of this bill.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pagina12.com.ar%2F28606-legalizaron-el-cannabis-medicinal&edit-text=

Blaming the victims: dictatorship denialism is on the rise in Argentina

Almost uniquely among nations that have suffered mass killings under brutal dictatorships, Argentina was able not only to put a large number of its former torturers behind bars; but to establish a consensus that its 1976-83 military regime had executed a lower-intensity Nazi-style genocide that lacked any moral justification.

General Jorge Videla, who presided over most of the Dirty War, and four others were convicted in 1985 for their role in the atrocities (just two years after the return of democracy), and since former President Néstor Kirchner repealed amnesty laws in 2003, over 1,000 other former officers have been sentenced.

But Argentina’s consensus on the gravity of dictatorship-era crimes has been shattered since President Mauricio Macri's right-wing administration took office 15 months ago.

Macri and a number of his officials and close allies have since then made numerous public statements minimizing the extent and seriousness of the 1970s Dirty War, which, human rights organizations agree, killed around 30,000 dissidents - most of them known to be non-violent.

These include National Customs Director Juan José Gómez Centurión, former Buenos Aires Culture Minister Darío Lopérfido (both fired last year due to financial improprieties - though Gómez was later reappointed), and Macri himself, who in an August interview with Buzzfeed said, when asked how many people had been murdered, that “I have no idea. That’s a debate I’m not going to enter, whether they were 9,000 or 30,000.”

'They should have killed them all'

Some sympathisers of the military regime have long raised doubts over the number of desaparecidos; but Macri’s words marked the first time that such denialist rhetoric entered mainstream political discourse.

Mario Ranaletti, professor of history at Tres de Febrero University, has specialized in the mindset of Argentine denialist groups. “They consider it a good and morally unquestionable act,” he says. “To them the Cold War was a religious war.” Even today, Ranaletti notes, some Argentines argue that “they should have killed them all.”

This posture was dramatized during a recent human rights march by a sign held by Ignacio Montagut, a staffer in Macri's Security Ministry, that read "30,000 were not enough."

Denialism by the numbers

Macri’s '9,000' number refers to a list of 8,961 names compiled in 1984 by the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons (CONADEP). Long touted by denialists as the only valid accounting, the list was never meant to be final. The military themselves reported 22,000 killings to Chilean intelligence in July 1978. Five months later, the dictatorship informed the papal nuncio in Buenos Aires, Pío Laghi, that it had killed 15,000 people, declassified US documents show.

At Buenos Aires' Chacarita Cemetery, where many of the disappeared are known to have been disposed of, the number of recorded cremations rose from 13,000 in 1974 to 30,000 in 1978, before falling back to 21,000 in 1980. Thousands more were buried in unmarked graves, where work still continues on the identification of human remains. And the CONADEP list did not include victims whose bodies were returned to their families – or the undoubtedly vast number of unreported victims.

As Argentina marked the 41st anniversary of the 1976 coup on Friday, investigative writer Martín Kohan acknowledged that the exact number will never be known because the last dictator, General Reynaldo Bignone, ordered all incriminating documents systematically destroyed shortly before stepping down in 1983.

Kohan noted that many of the deaths were never reported due to fear of reprisals, and that due to the clandestine nature of the offensive many of the relatives of those killed believed (or were led to believe) they died in accidents or were killed by subversives - and still do.

Taken together, such factors make the 30,000 estimate by human rights groups a reasonable assumption; perfectible by academic research perhaps - but never questioned before by a sitting president.

At: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/29/argentina-denial-dirty-war-genocide-mauricio-macri
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