Sunday, August 20, 2006

Efforts towards Justice in Argentina

There's an interesting article in the New York Times today on the revival of trials against officers involved in torture in Argentina's most recent dictatorship (1976-1983). It's worth checking out, as it ably reveals both the benefits and the problems of trying to bring such men to justice more than twenty years later. These problems confront not just a legal system trying to make a case that's more than twenty years old, but also for the victims, many of whom, under the current system, will have to testify again and again, reliving painful memories for cases that still may never see punishment. Nor is Argentina the sole example of this, as the far-more-famous Pinochet case has demonstrated similar problems. At any rate, it's worth checking out, for it reveals how the military dictatorships that the U.S. openly supported in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s do not end with their leaders, but have social, cultural, and economic effects that refuse to go away from the public arena.