The Last Days of Argentina’s “Dirty War”

On December 22, 1981, the last military dictators took power in Argentina’s Dirty War against its own citizens, as General Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri Castelli assumed the Presidency.  Galtieri attended classes at the infamous US Army School of the Americas in 1949, when the School operated in the Panama Canal Zone, and spent six months studying with the US military at Fort Belvoir, Virginia in 1960. During the Dirty War, one of the death squad battalions reported directly to him.  Galtieri thought that the US would continue to support him, but in 1982 he seriously miscalculated his invasion of the Falkland Islands, as the US sided with the British.  As the domestic war ended, the civilian Argentine government and human rights activists made numerous attempts to prosecute him.  Galtieri was finally indicted in 1999.

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