The U.S government handed over a series of newly declassified documents today, providing a more transparent view into the role the country played during Argentina’s last military dictatorship that took place between 1976 and 1983. US Ambassador to Argentina, Noah Mamet, conducted a symbolic handing over of the information to the National Archive for Memory, during a ceremony in honor of Patricia Derian, former human rights bureau chief under US President Jimmy Carter.
Derian was credited with saving hundreds of lives by standing up to the military government in Argentina as a human rights ambassador for the US government. She visited Argentina three times in 1977 during her tenure at the human rights bureau and took great risks by hawkishly advocating for amnesty and an end to political kidnappings and killings.
This is the second release of information in the process of declassification expected to finalize in 2017. The first series of documents was completed in on August 8th, when the US Department of State handed the government and different human rights organizations over 1,000 documents.
It is fair to clarify, however, that the larger part of these documents are from the Jimmy Carter administration (1977-1981). Unlike Carter’s predecessors, who not only didn’t question the dictatorship’s illegal activities but in some cases actively supported them under Operation Condor, Carter made human rights a cornerstone of US foreign policy and actually put pressure on the military regime by withholding loans and the sale of military equipment.
The documents are available for public access and can also be found on this website.