oa African Yearbook of Rhetoric - Truth versus impunity : post-transitional justice in Argentina and the 'human rights turn'

Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2220-2188
  • E-ISSN: 2305-7785



In Argentina, the processes of democratic transition and transitional justice are both inextricably associated with Raú Alfonsín, for both began with his accession to the presidency after the free elections that followed seven years of military dictatorship (1976-1983). Having thus initiated the transition to democracy, Alfonsín set up, in 1983, the CONADEP (Comisión Nacional sobre la Desaparición de Personas), which was tasked with investigating the 'disappearances' and other grave human rights violations committed in the context of the Proceso de Reorganización Nacional overseen by the generals. That same year, the Argentine parliament repealed the self-amnesty law which, in an attempt to guarantee the impunity of perpetrators, had been hurriedly passed by General Bignone's government two months before the fall of the dictatorship under the pretext of maintaining civil harmony and achieving national reconciliation. Shortly afterwards, Alfonsín gave the go-ahead for legal proceedings against the generals of the first three military juntas.

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