Argentina told allies of coup plot

Newly declassified documents show that Argentina's military told Brazil and Chile before staging a 1976 coup, in an early sign of co-operation between Latin America's right-wing governments.

Argentina told allies of coup plot

Newly declassified documents show that Argentina's military toldBraziland Chilebefore staging a 1976 coup, in an early sign of co-operation between Latin America'sright-wing governments.


The documents highlight relations that would later besolidified in Operation Condor, in which governments workedtogether to target dissidents. 

Isobel Peron, Argentina'sthen president, was deposed by the Argentinian military after twoyears in office.

The third wife of president Juan Domingo Peron was installed as vice presidentwhen he was re-elected in 1973 and had succeeded him after his deatha year later. 


Lorenzo de Montmollin, head of Argentine navalintelligence, told Brazilian and Chilean officials of the military'splans before deposing Peron, according to the documents.


The coup took place on March 24, 1976, ushering in aseven-year military dictatorship headed by General Jorge Rafael Videla.

The regime kidnapped and killed as many as 30,000dissidents.

"Montmollin, declaring that he was specificallyauthorised by the commander in chief of the armed forces to do so, outlined themain steps to be taken by the future regime," Joao Baptista Pinheiro,Brazil's ambassador to Argentina at the time, wrote in a secret telegram datedSeptember 12, 1976.

Pinheiro also transcribed a conversation between a seniorBrazilian diplomat and Montmollin in which the Argentine official said AugustoPinochet, Chile'smilitary leader, had been notified that a coup was being planned.

Pinheiro wrote that the Argentine armed forces asked that Chileabstain from recognising the military government for a while, a request theChilean authorities agreed to honour.

Montmollin justified the request by indicating that underthe Argentine military regime "subversion would be wiped out, but withoutostensive violent repression so as to avoid suffering an international campaignlike the one that has been unleashed against Chile".


The telegrams also reveal that shortly after the coup,Pinheiro notified the Brazilian government that Argentinaand Paraguayhad begun co-operating to eliminate left-wing guerrillas.

The programme was the first step in what would eventuallybecome known as Operation Condor.

The military governments of Brazil,Bolivia,Chileand Uruguayalso took part in Operation Condor.

Peron went into exile in Spaina few years after the coup. She was arrested by Spanish police in January andcould be extradited to Argentinato respond to charges her government was linked to a right-wing death squad.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16