Behind the Disappearances: Argentina's Dirty War Against Human Rights and the United Nations

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University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990 - Law - 605 pages

Drawing on confidential Argentinian documents and memoranda, Behind the Disappearances documents a seven-year diplomatic war by one of the twentieth century's most brutal regimes. It relates how, starting in 1976, Argentina's military government tried to cripple the UN's human rights machinery in an effort to prevent international condemnation of its policy of disappearances. Initially this attempt succeeded, but in 1980—with encouragement from the Carter administration—UN officials regained the initiative and created a special working group on disappearances that rejuvenated the UN's efforts. This progress was abruptly halted in 1981 when the Reagan administration sided with the Argentinian regime. The result, claims the author, not only undercut the UN's actions against disappearances but also weakened its chances of playing a positive role in aiding Latin America's transition from dictatorship to democracy.

 

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Contents

Buenos Aires September n 1985
1
After the Coup
7
Monica Disappears
9
The War Begins
23
Torture at the ESMA 54
34
The Relatives Resist
49
The Truth Comes Out
63
Amnestys Fraught Visit
76
The Neoconservative Revolution
247
The Carrier Changes Course
261
Lefevers Calvary
277
Abrams Recoups
291
The Knives Sharpen
303
The Dictators Triumph
320
Uneasy Transition
333
The Angels Wings are Clipped
335

Inside the United Nations
87
7 A Dangerous Place
89
The Godfather
103
The Junta Counterattacks
111
Martmez Against the U N Middleman
122
n The Juntas Bluff
135
The Carter Tears 12 Derian into the Lions Den
151
The Allis Chalmers Controversy
164
Martinez Prepares
180
Shestack Breaks the U N Jinx
190
The Chairman Disappears
202
The Dialogue Starts the Disease Spreads
216
The Pressure Pays Off
229
The Reagan Tears
245
The Unplugging
345
27 Betrayal in Geneva
357
Appendices
359
The Politicized United Nations
366
Alfonsms Compromise
381
The Denuncia
392
Buenos Aires September 1985 Relatives in Limbo
403
to Deliver to the U N Human Rights Commission
436
Human Rights MachineryAn Uneasy Partnership
442
Notes
449
Bibliography
561
Index
579
Copyright

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About the author (1990)

Iain Guest served as a UN spokesperson in Cambodia and Haiti and was a Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, where he specialized in Rwanda and Bosnia. Guest is a founding member of the Advocacy Project, which advises advocacy groups on using the new information technology in their campaigning and produces the electronic newsletter On the Record. He is currently visiting fellow at the Overseas Development Council in Washington, D.C.

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