Project Argentina

The 2018 Declassification

In Spring of 2018, five students joined Professor Silvia Tandeciarz and the National Security Archive’s Southern Cone expert Carlos Osorio to restart the William & Mary-National Security Archive internship program ahead of a major declassification of U.S. documents on foreign policy in Argentina. President Barack Obama announced in April of 2016 that he would move forward with declassifying roughly 10,000 documents, some of which have never been released to the public, to show good faith in what some call “declassification diplomacy.” Though the declassification was delayed until the summer, the students spent the year reviewing previously declassified materials on Chile, Argentina and other countries involved in Operación Condor in order to learn how to read and process the documents so that they are prepared for the major declassification that lies ahead. The focus of this work is to uncover as much information as possible about the human rights abuses that were perpetrated by the Argentine government during the years that the military junta was in power, from 1976 to 1983. Due to the clandestine nature of the disappearances, torture, and deaths of civilians during that period, uncovering new information in these declassified documents is indispensable to uncovering the truth and hopefully achieving justice in ongoing court cases in Argentina. The students uncovered new information in the documents and prepared preliminary briefing books on particular cases of human rights abuses; when these are finalized, you will be able to read them here.

 

Reference Chronology: Argentina Dictatorship, 1976 – 1983

In Spring of 2011, six students, together with Prof. Tandeciarz and Prof. Konefal, began to create a reference chronology on Argentina’s last dictatorship from 1976 – 1983.   The chronology seeks to highlight key events and turning points, focusing especially on human rights and U.S. policy shifts toward the military junta during these years.  The students utilize declassified U.S. State Department documents for their research, in addition to drawing from academic literature and other primary sources (found here in an annotated glossary).  The chronology was published and made available to researchers, academics, and students by the NSA as a companion and reference to a complete set of over 3,000 declassified documents: see Osorio, Carlos, ed. Argentina, 1975:1980: The Making of U.S. Human Rights Policy. Washington, D.C.: The National Security Archive and Chadwyck-Healey, 2012. 

 

Timerman Briefing Book Project

In 2009, ten students, in a course taught by Prof. Tandeciarz, created a Briefing Book for the National Security Archive and a companion Briefing Book for the Comisión Provincial por la Memoria. This project focused on the experiences of journalist Jacobo Timerman, whose detention during the last Argentine dictatorship generated international attention and helped to shape the United States’ human rights agenda.


Judicial Cases

In Fall 2009 and Spring 2010, mentored by Professor Konefal, student research focused on identifying documents in the Archive relevant to ongoing court cases in Argentina. Their work has directly contributed to the prosecution of those responsible for crimes against humanity committed during the period of State Terrorism in five cases before the Argentine Tribunals.