CIA declassified papers focus of art exhibit in Argentina

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Posted: Jul 15, 2016 1:06 PM
CIA declassified papers focus of art exhibit in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Chilean artist Voluspa Jarpa has turned declassified CIA documents into an exhibit focused on one of Latin America's darkest periods.

The show, which also includes videos, audios and paintings, opened this week in Buenos Aires at the Museum of Latin American Art, known as MALBA.

For more than a decade, Jarpa collected declassified documents with information on the region's dictatorships that killed and forcibly "disappeared" thousands of people during the 1970s and 1980s.

Hundreds of copies of papers documenting the brutalities of the regimes have been hung from the high ceilings of the museum's main hall for the exhibition, "In Our Little Region Over Here."

"This seeks to construct an image of Latin America through the documents that the U.S. has declassified," Jarpa recently told reporters at the museum. "We wanted to interpose this huge architectural space with these declassified files to show the enormity of their volume."

Many pages contain information about the 1973-90 dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet in Chile. At least 3,095 people were killed during Pinochet's rule, and tens of thousands more were tortured or jailed for political reasons, according to government figures. Pinochet died in 2006 under house arrest without being tried on charges of illegal enrichment and human rights violations.

Another part of the exhibit centers on 47 prominent Cold War-era Latin Americans who were killed or died as victims of unsolved crimes that are now being investigated or revisited. Depicted in hand-painted portraits on bronze plaques, they include Cabinet ministers, judges, priests and former presidents.

Some Latin American personalities are featured in a mural representing a collective funeral, while their stories are recorded in folders filled with legal documents.

Speeches of human rights advocates can also be heard.