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The 1976 Argentine coup was a coup d'état that overthrew Isabel Perón on 24 March 1976, in Argentina. In her place, a military junta was installed, which was headed by General Jorge Rafael Videla, Admiral Emilio Eduardo Massera and Brigadier Orlando Ramón Agosti. The junta took the official name of "National Reorganization Process," and remained in power until 1983.

Although political repression (the so-called "Dirty War") began before the coup, as soon as Operativo Independencia, it was heavily extended after the coup and resulted in the "disappearances" of approximately 30,000 persons.

The United States Department of State learned of the preparations of the coup two months before [1].

Two days after the coup, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America, William D. Rogers, stated "This junta is testing the basic proposition that Argentina is not governable...I think that's a distinctly odds-on choice." and "I think also we've got to expect a fair amount of repression, probably a good deal of blood, in Argentina before too long. I think they're going to have to come down very hard not only on the terrorists but on the dissidents of trade unions and their parties." US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger stated that "Whatever chance they have, they will need a little encouragement" and "because I do want to encourage them. I don't want to give the sense that they're harassed by the United States."[2]

In June 1976, when human rights violations by the junta were criticized in the US, Kissinger reiterated support to the junta, directly addressing himself to Argentine Foreign Minister Admiral Cesar Augusto Guzzetti during a meeting in Santiago de Chile [3].


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