U.S. to declassify intelligence, military records on Argentina's 'Dirty War'

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 17, 2016 5:26 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States government will declassify documents from U.S. military and intelligence agencies related to Argentina's 1976-1983 "Dirty War," the seven-year period when Argentina cracked down on left-wing opponents, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

The move coincides with President Barack Obama's visit to Argentina next week on the 40th anniversary of the 1976 coup that installed a military dictatorship, which the United States initially supported. Argentina returned to democracy in 1983.

The declassification effort came at the request of the Argentine government, according to U.S. national security adviser Susan Rice.

"This anniversary and beyond, we're determined to do our part as Argentina continues to heal and move forward as one nation," Rice will say later on Friday, according to prepared remarks seen by Reuters.

An administration official said the declassification effort will include records from U.S. law enforcement agencies, the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and the presidential libraries at the National Archives.

It follows the declassification in 2002 of more than 4,000 State Department cables and other documents related to human rights abuses from the 1976-1983 period.

"The president is committed to continuing to support Argentine efforts to address the human rights violations committed during the "Dirty War" and will highlight this commitment during his visit to Argentina next week," the official said.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Don Durfee and Leslie Adler)