March 24, 1976-2006. 30 years after the U.S.-approved military coup in Argentina
that gave a new meaning to the word "disappeared":
Declassified US files expose 1970s backing for junta
Henry Kissinger gave his approval to the "dirty war" in Argentina in the 1970s in which up to 30,000 people were killed, according to newly declassified US state department documents. Mr Kissinger, who was America's secretary of state, is shown to have urged the Argentinian military regime to act before the US Congress resumed session, and told it that Washington would not cause it "unnecessary difficulties".
Argentine Military Believed U.S. Gave Go-ahead for Dirty War
"First we must kill the subversives, then their sympathisers, then the indifferent and finally the timid."
--General Iberico Saint Jean, governor by Buenos Aires during military rule.
The 'Pink Panther'
Behind this Dirty War and its excesses stood the slight, well-dressed, gentlemanly figure of Gen. Videla. Called "bone" or the "pink panther" because of his slim build, Videla emerged as a leading theorist for international anti-communist strategies in the mid-1970s. His tactics were emulated throughout Latin America and were defended by prominent American right-wing politicians, including Ronald Reagan.
Videla rose to power amid Argentina's political and economic unrest in the early-to-mid 1970s. "As many people as necessary must die in Argentina so that the country will again be secure," he declared in 1975 in support of a "death squad" known as the Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance. [See A Lexicon of Terror by Marguerite Feitlowitz.]
What is your favorite book," a journalist asked Gen. Rafael Videla, after he ascended to power in Argentina in 1976.
"Book?" Videla replied.
The journalist was perspiring. He didn't think it was a hard question to ask someone leading the nation. But suddenly the journalist felt that the question could jeopardize not only his career but his life.
It was embarrassing that the new president could not come up with at least one title of one book. So the journalist tried to help out with suggestions: "The Bible perhaps? Martin Fierro (the most important book in Argentina's literature)?". Videla said something about his first-grade reading book, but ... he could not remember its title. [Diario Perfil, an article by Omar Bravo, July 10, 1998]
"Videla, known for his English-tailored suits and his ruthless counterinsurgency theories, stands accused of permitting -- and concealing -- a scheme to harvest infants from pregnant women who were kept alive in military prisons only long enough to give birth. According to the charges, the babies were taken from the new mothers, sometimes by late-night Caesarean sections, and then distributed to military families or shipped to orphanages. After the babies were pulled away, the mothers were removed to another site for their executions."
Videla's killer file
..and the dozens of subordinates: