Jacobo Timerman: The Conscience of a Nation - The Dirty War

Under the rule of the military, Argentina entered a period known as the "Dirty War."  Jews were arrested, tortured and murdered for their religious beliefs. Entire families disappeared overnight. Well-known professionals were dragged from their offices and killed on the street. Corpses were thrown in the rivers or buried in shallow graves. 

Many people who were not immediately killed, simply disappeared.  They were taken from their homes, schools, off the street—no one knew where they were taken or even if they were still alive.  Twenty thousand people disappeared.  The people called them the "desaparecidos" or the "lost ones." 

Three hundred and forty detention centers were built in Argentina to hold all the political prisoners.  Many secret executions were conducted there, and the military would sell off all the individual's possessions—their homes, cars, jewelry—to fund their terrorism.  

The country was gripped in fear, and no one dared oppose the military.  Jacobo wrote in his newspaper:

Everyone not directly involved in the terror is engaged in the struggle for survival. (See Prisoner without a Name, Cell without a Number, by Jacobo Timerman, at page 122.)

Jacobo's publications continued to report the murders, kidnappings, and Jacobo risked his life with every paper.  People began to come to him, thinking he could somehow help them find their missing relatives.  Much of the time, he could do nothing.  

Women wearing white kerchiefs began to appear daily in the main plazas of Buenos Aires, carrying banners and photos of missing sons and daughters.  They became known as "Mothers of the Plaza del Mayo," and every week more and more of them filled the plaza.

Jacobo was the lone journalist who spoke out to expose the truth.  Each day he would print the names of all who had gone missing. He wrote editorials denouncing the cruel human rights violations taking place everyday in Argentina.

His opposition to the government did not go unnoticed.

Original Release: Sep 22, 2015

Updated Last Revision: Jun 02, 2016

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"The Dirty War" AwesomeStories.com. Sep 22, 2015. Mar 19, 2019.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips