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National Security Archive's Carlos Osorio Honored for Human Rights Work in Argentina

Argentine Embassy Recognizes Years of Documenting and Testifying about Abuses during Military Dictatorship

March 26, 2015

For more information contact:
Carlos Osorio - 202/994-7061 cosorio@gwu.edu

In the News

Día Nacional de la Memoria por la Verdad y la Justicia
Embassy of Argentina, March 24, 2015

Carlos Osorio, compartió su experiencia
Pagina 12, March 24, 2015

Carlos Osorio, quien desde hace catorce años estudia los informes desclasificados
Por Alejandra Dandan, Pagina 12, September 3, 2014

El Tribunal Oral Federal 1 debe evaluar las pruebas presentadas por la fiscalía
Por Alejandra Dandan, Pagina 12, March 28, 2011

Declaró el analista... Carlos Osorio
Por Sonia Tessa, Pagina 12, March 28, 2009

William & Mary National Security Archive Project

 

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Argentine Embassy award presented to the National Security Archive's Carlos Osorio. The plaque is dated to coincide with the Argentine National Day of Memory for Truth and Justice and the International Day for the Right to the Truth.

Washington, DC, March 26, 2015 – Carlos Osorio, Director of the National Security Archive's Southern Cone Documentation Project, received a special award from the Argentine Embassy in Washington on March 23 for his work in providing critical documentary evidence and testimony to numerous high-profile trials in Argentina aimed at uncovering and prosecuting human rights violations by the military junta from 1976-1983. Argentine Ambassador Cecilia Nahon presented the award, which praises Osorio's "contribution in the fight for human rights during the Argentine civic-military dictatorship."

Addressing representatives from the international diplomatic community, Osorio described his work over the past 15 years to collect tens of thousands of U.S. government records and to provide evidence in various Argentine legal forums. He recounted testifying for two days only two weeks earlier in Buenos Aires before the tribunal judging the Operation Condor Case, and analyzing for 10 hours the contents of a hundred documents from sources as varied as the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, State Department, the Paraguay Archive of Terror, and the Chilean former secret police, DINA.

As part of the ceremony, Osorio participated in a panel that included U.N. Special Rapporteur on torture Juan Mendez, who described Argentina's contributions to international human rights law, and Catalina de Sanctis Ovando, who as a daughter of disappeared parents spoke movingly about how she recovered her identity in 2008 thanks to the work of the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo. The packed house of dignitaries included U.S. Ambassador to Argentina Noah Mamet, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South America and Cuba Alex Lee, and Argentine Ambassador to the OAS Nilda Garre.

In her remarks, Ambassador Nahon also thanked the National Security Archive for its support in the international quest for truth and justice. Osorio recognized the work of numerous volunteers, interns and assistants over the years: Natalia Federman, Peter Bertone, Caty Costar, Cecilia Golombek, Marianna Enamoneta, Erin Maskel, Marcos Novaro, Rocio Suarez and Santiago Masoni. He also thanked Professors Silvia Tandeciarz and Betsy Konefal, and dozens of students at the College of William and Mary who over the course of four years — eight semesters — took part in a course entitled "Internship at the National Security Archive," poring through thousands of records and assisting in identifying and describing hundreds of documents as evidence.

Other notable human rights champions also received recognition at the ceremony:

  • 'Tex' Harris, the first U.S. diplomat in charge of the then-newly created HR area at the Embassy in Buenos Aires, became famous for often defying instructions from superiors and collecting testimonies from relatives of the missing and reporting them to the State Department.
  • Tom Farer, a widely-known educator, led a delegation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on a ground-breaking mission to Argentina in 1979 and later testified at a trial of some of the perpetrators of human rights violations there.
  • Jo Marie Griesgraber, a long-time leader in the NGO community, was Deputy Director of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) when she visited Argentina in 1977 to learn first-hand about the unfolding human rights crisis.
  • Robert K. Goldman, President of the IACHR Commission in late 1990s, has long contributed to the advancement of human rights cases throughout the continent.

What follows is a selection of documents presented by Carlos Osorio as evidence in past trials in Argentina:

 

Operation Condor Trial

Defense Intelligence Agency, Intelligence Report, Special Operations, October 1, 1976, Secret/Noforn

This Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Intelligence Report (IR) provides information on a joint counterinsurgency operation by Southern Cone countries in what was known as Operation Condor. It reads, in part: "Operation Condor is the code name given for intelligence collection on leftists, communists and Marxists in the Southern Cone Area. It was recently established between cooperating intelligence services in South America in order to eliminate Marxist terrorist activities in member countries with Chile reportedly being the center of operations. Other participating members include: Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia … Members showing the most enthusiasm to date have been Argentina, Uruguay and Chile."

The document refers to a high-ranking Argentine military delegation to Montevideo reported on a few days earlier in a DIA cable, as a sign of the preparations for these operations.

"During the period 24-27 September 1976, members of the Argentine State Secretariat for Information (SIDE), operating with officers of the Uruguayan Military Intelligence Service carried out operations against the Uruguayan terrorist organization, the OPR-33 in Buenos Aires. As a result of this joint operation, SIDE officials claimed that the entire OPR-33 infrastructure in Argentina has been eliminated … "

During this raid more than 20 Uruguayans were disappeared in Buenos Aires.

The document was introduced as evidence in March 2015 in the Operation Condor Trial. The historic trial charges 25 high-ranking military officials, including former Argentine presidents Jorge Videla and Reynaldo Bignone, with conspiracy to "kidnap, disappear, torture and kill" 171 opponents of the military dictatorships that dominated the Southern Cone in the 1970s and 1980s. Among the victims are approximately 80 Uruguayans, 50 Argentines, 20 Chileans and a dozen others from Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador who were targeted by Condor operatives. The kidnapping and disappearance of two Cuban Consulate officials in Buenos Aires on August 9, 1976, is also part of the prosecution.

 

Ceramics Workers trial

Cable, U.S. Embassy Argentina, Disappearance of Ceramics Workers in 1977, June 14, 1978, Secret

This cable reports that Embassy sources are indicating that the disappearances of workers from the LOZADUR factory "are the result of a security operation in the area, presumably by intelligence elements operating out of the Army Communications School in nearby Campo de Mayo ... (Another source who consorts with Army intelligence agents has alleged to us that 19 ceramics workers were executed in Campo de Mayo in November 1977.)." Embassy officials believe "there is a great deal of cooperation generally between management representatives and the security agencies aimed at eliminating terrorist infiltrators from the industrial work places and at minimizing the risk of industrial strife." The cable was introduced as evidence in September 2014 in the Ceramics Workers case which pertains to the disappearance of the 19 workers.

 

Automotores Orletti Trial

Diagram [part of a Memorandum], U.S. Embassy Argentina, [Reunion Center], February 6, 1980, Secret

This chart of the unit "Reunion Center" within Intelligence Battalion 601 shows the numerous Task Forces that were responsible for scores of kidnappings and disappearances across borders in the Southern Cone. The chart was attached to a memorandum for the record by the Regional Security Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Argentina, James Blystone. The document was introduced as evidence in December 2011 in the Automotores Orletti Trial concerning the kidnapping and disappearance of Uruguayans and Chileans in Buenos Aires in July 1976.

 

Guerrieri - Amelong trial

Detention Record, Dirección Federal de Seguridad de México, [Argentine agents' mugshots], January 19, 1978

By the end of 1977, the Argentine military had captured 19 Montonero subversives and held them in a secret detention camp. From there they concocted the idea of sending three intelligence officers, among them Daniel Amelong, and two Montonero prisoners to travel with them to Mexico to infiltrate and kill the subversives' leadership there. The two prisoners, Carlos Laluf and Tulio Valenzuela, left their wives and children behind as hostages in the camp. Once in Mexico, Valenzuela escaped and denounced the operation to Mexican authorities. The Federal Security Directorate (DFS) managed to trace, capture and expel Amelong and Laluf, who decided to return to the camp in Argentina. The DFS mugshots show the Argentine agents along with their false names: "Manuel Augusto Pablo Funes, Deputy Area 121 of the Argentine Army Intelligence," and "Miguel Vila Adelaide, Civil Intelligence Area 121 of the Argentine Army." In fact the two were Amelong and Laluf. After they returned, the agents killed every prisoner as part of a cover-up. This document was introduced in December 2008 as evidence in the Guerrieri-Amelong case involving five Argentine intelligence officers who had been involved in the disappearances of the 19 Montonero subversives, including Carlos Laluf, his wife, Marta Benassi, and Tulio Valenzuela's wife, Raquel Negro.

 

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