The Dirty War

Hallie Gardner

The Dirty War in Argentina is a genocide in history that seems to often be overlooked.  In fact, my first time learning about it was in my Latin American history class sophomore year. During the Cold War, many countries were hit hard and Latin America was no exception. In June of 1966, Juan Perón, the current president of Argentina was overthrown by a violent military coup d’état. Argentine naval planes bombed the presidential palace and the Revolución Libertador was born. This military regime wanted to cleanse the country from Perónism, or the ideals of Juan Perón.

English: Eduardo Lonardi, president of Argenti...
English: Eduardo Lonardi, president of Argentina after the millitary coup that deposed Juan Domingo Perón Español: Eduardo Lonardi, presidente de Argentina luego del golpe militar que derrocó a Juan Domingo Perón (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The administration wanted to encourage infrastructure and bring foreign investment back into Argentina. The threat of leftist movements served as an excuse for brutal oppression and the fear of social revolution gave justification to those who were threatened to put it down.


Workers were severely suppressed and many protest movements against the regime were forcefully put down. The Argentine military government became very nasty and filled with suppression and nearly 30,0000 alleged left-wing sympathizers were killed ( This number is ridiculous. It’s sickening to know that “violence and fear are used in order to destroy bonds and control a population for political purposes “ (

It’s also important to know that many of these people’s bodies have never been found ( And we all know very well that Argentina isn’t the only example of this. I feel like in school, when the topic of genocide comes up, we focus on big events like the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, or even the European Colonization of the Americas. Sometimes we overlook events like the Dirty War and sure, I understand we don’t have time to learn about every world event, but it’s important to acknowledge that genocide has happened in nearly every corner of the world and its horrifying impacts are so vast.


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