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Horacio Verbitsky
Horacio Verbitsky en España.jpg
Horacio Verbitsky, in the trial in Spain
Born February 11, 1942 (1942-02-11) (age 67)
Buenos Aires,  Argentina
Occupation Journalist
Spouse(s) Mónica
Children two daughters (Miguel y José)
Notable credit(s) Página/12
Official website

Horacio Verbitsky (born 1942 in Buenos Aires) is a prominent Argentinian investigative journalist and author. He writes for the left-leaning Argentine newspaper Página/12 and heads up the Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS), an Argentinian human-rights organization.

He is also a member of the Directive Board of Human Rights Watch/Americas, and of the New Iberoamerican Journalism Foundation created by the Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez, as well as an active member at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism.



Since 1960, Verbitsky has earned national acclaim for his writings and political columns, focusing primarily in the unmasking of political corruption and the promotion of a free press, denouncing any government policies that may affect the counstitutional rights of free speech to journalists and citizens. He has also become known under the nickname “el perro” (“the dog”)[1].

Years as a leftist militant

During the seventies he was a member of Montoneros, a guerrilla organization [2]. According to him, he participated in shootings, but during which "luckily" nobody died [2]. He also stated that he had no important functions in the Montoneros organization [2] [3]

He quickly attained to international fame when he published the account of the 1976-1983 dictatorship's brutality, courtesy of a confession by naval officer Adolfo Scilingo. The subsequent book – The Flight: Confessions of an Argentine Dirty Warrior – became a bestseller and was internationally praised for its accurate insight into the inhuman methods used by the armed forces, which included the dumping of naked prisoners into the Atlantic Ocean from airplanes, a system that Scilingo claimed to have been approved by the Church. The book was republished following Scilingo's trial and conviction on human rights abuses in Spain, and translated into English in the United States, to a warm response, and in French, Portuguese and Italian.

By The Flight, Mike Wallace, from 60 minutes, say:

"This is as Watergate".[4]

In his country, Verbitsky plays a major role in the uncovering of corruption in political affairs. In 1991, his story on the brother-in-law of ex president Carlos Menem and his maneuver to obtain a bribe from a company for the granting of a tax exemption, resulted in the nationwide “Swiftgate” scandal. Verbitsky was questioned by Menem but the accusations were found to have solid grounds, and the ex president was forced to change half his cabinet in an attempt to regain the lost political credibility.

Verbitsky was also active in organizations promoting the free press, such as Periodistas, the former Latin American organization for the free press, which he helped found.

He wrote for the newspaper El País (España); The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times (USA).

To this day, Verbitsky has published eighteen books, besides his journalistic work...

Book cover of Verbitsky's book on the 1973 Ezeiza massacre.

Books in spanish

  • Prensa y poder en Perú, Extemporáneos (México), 1975.
  • La última batalla de la Tercera Guerra Mundial, Editorial Legasa (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1984.
  • Ezeiza, Contrapunto, (Bs. As.) 1985. Available in Spanish here
  • La posguerra sucia, Sudamericana (Bs. As.) 1985. ISBN 978-987-503-429-7 (13).
  • Rodolfo Walsh y la prensa clandestina 1976-1978, Ediciones de la Urraca (Bs. As.), 1986.
  • Civiles y militares: memoria secreta de la transición, Ed. Contrapunto (Bs. As.), 1987.
  • Medio siglo de proclamas militares, Editora/12 (Bs. As.), 1987. ISBN 950-9586-15-3.
  • La educación presidencial: de la derrota del ’70 al desguace del Estado, Editora/12: Puntosur (Bs. As.), 1990. ISBN 950-9889-55-5.
  • Robo para la corona: los frutos prohibidos del árbol de la corrupción, Planeta (Bs. As.), 1991. Available in Spanish here. ISBN 950-742-145-9.
  • Hacer la Corte: la construcción de un poder absoluto sin justicia ni control, Planeta (Bs. As.), 1993. ISBN 950-742-394-9.
  • El vuelo, Planeta (Bs. As.), 1995. Available in Spanish here ISBN 950-742-608-6.
  • Un mundo sin periodistas: las tortuosas relaciones de Menem con la ley, la Justicia y la verdad, Planeta (Bs. As.) 1997 ISBN 950-742-886-0
  • Hemisferio derecho, Planeta (Bs. As.), 1998. ISBN 950-742-953-0.
  • Malvinas: la última batalla de la Tercera Guerra Mundial, Sudamericana (Bs. As.), 2002. ISBN 950-07-2231-3.
  • El Silencio: de Paulo VI a Bergoglio: las relaciones secretas de la Iglesia con la ESMA, Sudamericana (Bs. As.), 2005. ISBN 950-07-2035-3.
  • Doble juego: la Argentina católica y militar, Sudamericana (Bs. As.), 2006. ISBN 978-950-07-2737-2 (13).
  • Cristo vence: la Iglesia en la Argentina: un siglo de historia política (1884-1983), Sudamericana (Bs. As.), 2007. ISBN 950-07-2803-4.
  • La Violencia Evangélica, de Lonardi al Cordobazo, Sudamericana (Bs. As.), 2008. ISBN 978-950-072-918-5.
  • Vigilia de armas. Tomo III. Del Cordobazo de 1969 al 23 de marzo de 1976, Sudamericana (Bs. As.) 2009. ISBN 978-950-07-3049-5.
  • AAVV (1998). Diario de la CGT de los Argentinos. Quilmes: UNQ- Ed. La Página. ISBN 987-503-046-5.

Books in english

  • The Flight. Confessions of an Argentine dirty warrior. The New Press (New York), 1996. Afterward by Juan Méndez, General Counsel, Human Rights Watch.
  • The Flight. Confessions of an Argentine dirty warrior. The New Press (New York), 2005. Afterward by Juan Méndez. With a new preface by judge Gabriel R. Cavallo and a new afterword by the author.
  • The Silence, extract transl. in English made available by Open Democracy: Breaking the silence: the Catholic Church in Argentina and the "dirty war", July 28, 2005 (concerning the Cité catholique fundamentalist group, etc.).



See also



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