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Part III
The judiciary during the Repression

Nunca Más (Never Again) - Report of Conadep  - 1984


E. International solidarity

When vital individual human rights are at risk, the peoples of the world feel the disgrace visited on the countries in question as if they were personally involved. This is the case whether these rights are threatened by the nation's own government, or by the occupying forces of an external invader. 

It is a feeling born of centuries of universal coexistence. Taking just one milestone in history, we must surely remember that it was after the Second World War, which caused so much suffering for the nations involved, that mankind came to the conclusion that certain types of conduct harmed the transcendental interests which concern the very conscience of humanity.

The terrible misfortune which befell our people touched these sensibilities. The depths plumbed by the repressive phenomenon of state terrorism in those ill-omened years pricked the consciences of sensitive people all over the world, and they joined forces to demand an end to the barbarism unleashed on Argentina. Those who usurped power during that period, however, presented this noble, legitimate desire to help as 'an anti-Argentina campaign'.

What is true is that the solidarity shown for Argentina during the recent tragic disrespect for life and liberty, has earned our deep gratitude towards the people, institutions and countries who offered it.

Let us not forget, however, that the springboard for this mobilization of universal consciousness was the unsung, heroic achievement of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo who, through their strength and the force of their grief, gave the world a matchless example of the defence of the right to life.

As just one example of support received, we would like to emphasize the extraordinary significance of the visit of the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights of the OAS, as well as the activities of the UN Working Group on the Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance of Persons. They communicated to the international community the scale of the systematic practice of 'disappearance' in Argentina. The clear result of this was that the majority of the world's nations denounced the military regime's systematic violation of human rights. However, some international bodies found it difficult to lend their support because of the lack of unanimity within them. Nor must we forget the reticence of the countries of Eastern Europe to join in the denunciation. The representative of the USSR even asked the UN 'not to put to the Human Rights Commission any denunciation of Argentina', adding that 'new things are happening there with the takeover of power by a new government (he was referring to the Presidency of General Roberto E. Viola who had been the Army Chief of Staff during the cruellest years of the dictatorship). (The document quoted is the UN Sub-Committee - period 35 - E/CN. 4/sub.2/1982/SR.28.)

With a sense of profound gratitude we would like to mention the work of the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Red Cross. We would also mention the nongovernmental organizations which operate internationally, and at the risk of omitting some of them, we emphasize the help given by the following: Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists, the World Council of Churches, the International Federation of Human Rights, the International Movement of Catholic Jurists (Pax Romana), Pax Christi International, the International Association against Torture, the Association of Democratic Jurists, the International League for the Defence of Rights and the Liberation of Peoples, the Criminal Law Association, the Minority Rights Group and others. Among the organizations of families of the disappeared and religious associations, we must give special mention to the Latin American Federation of Families of the Disappeared (FEDEFAM) in Caracas, CLAMOR in Sáo Paulo, and the Vicaría de la Solidaridad in Chile.





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