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Assassination in Argentina

Dear Dr. de Rozas:

We appeal to you, the Ambassador from Argentina to the United Nations, to join us in protest against the violations of civil liberties that have occurred in your country with increasing frequency.

We speak specifically of the past year’s cases of abduction of attorney Nestor Martins and his client, Nildo Zenteno; Marcelo Verd and Sara Palacio; Luis Enrique Pujals, law student; Diana Alac, sister of a well-known labor leader; attorney Juan Pablo Maestre and Mirta Misetich; Dragutin Tanasijevic, trade union delegate for the Bus Drivers Union; and several others, many of whom have never been found by the authorities or who have been found murdered after prolonged torture.

We speak of the cases of attempted abduction of attorney Roberto Quieto, attorney Jorge Vargas, and others where no success has been met by the authorities in apprehending those responsible.

We speak of cases of assassination of dissidents like the cases of Carlos Rodríguez Fontán and Luis Seijo, Santiago Pampillón, Juan José Cabral, Emilio Jaúregui, Alfonso Bello, Diego Ruy Frondizi, Manuel Belloni, and most recently the murder of architecture student Silvia Ester Filler on December 17, 1971, while she was attending a student body assembly; and the shooting of Segundo Gómez, a construction worker who was imprisoned and then shot down in cold blood by prison officials.

We speak of cases of political prisoners who have testified to the regularity with which political prisoners are tortured in Argentine jails, most notably in the 60-page testimony released at a news conference at the Association of Guild Lawyers in Buenos Aires, January 12, 1972.

We speak of the denial of basic human rights to adequate physical conditions of imprisonment—denials of medical attention, healthy diet, fresh air, and sunlight.

We speak of the right to a fair and speedy trial which has been denied in cases like that of Victor Lapegna who has been held since the middle of 1970 without charges being placed against him; we speak of the fifteen delegates of the Fiat union; of Agustín Tosco, a trade union leader from Córdoba; of Dr. Vicario, a leader of a community government in Córdoba; of Dr. Curuchek and Martín Federico, lawyers of the Fiat workers; and the Third World priests in Rosario—all of whom have been held for long periods of time without trial under the Executive Power Laws in your country.

In the face of the mounting reports of such practices in your country, we appeal to you to make public at this gathering your support of our demand for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Argentina and a halt to the abduction and torture of dissidents.

Sandra Levinson

Marvin Gettleman

Barbara Dane

Susan Schnall

Dale Johnson

Richard Garza

Joseph Heller

Jules Feiffer

Paul Sweezy

Stanley Diamond

Nat Hentoff

Emile de Antonio

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