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THE POSITION OF LAWYERS
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2.- Those lawyers who act as defence counsel for political detainees have
been victims of extensive violence, ran^in,^; from threats of murder to actual
physical elimination. ' Several have had their offices damaged by explosions
and broken into by police authorities. Some are detained en order of the
Executive without any regular trial or the laying cf formal charges. Others
have had to leave-the country or. go into hiding, thus necessarily abandoning
their professional activities.
3. .The following-lawyers are being detained at the pleasure of the Execu-
tive:-' Armando Rodolfo Fertita (1); .Rail Cegue; Eduardo Romanin; Lucila
F. Intelisano;. .Horacio D. Zanboni; Jorge J. -Ballardinij Susana Aguad and
Susana 3uconic (2); Ricardo Amor (3); Oscar Pedrota; Roberto Serges';
Pablo Lajarraga; Carlos Masolo; Vicente V. Ayala (4)^_ Rene Gabioux; Farat
Sire Salim (5); Hector Andreotti; Cesar Calcagno; Julio C. Marcolli and
Jorge !1. Marca (6); Roberto Diaz; Abraham Kczak (7); Alfredo Ramon Gueva-
ra, and Fuad Taun (8); Carlos Mariano Zamorana (9): Hector Arche.tti (10);
Juan' 3onacossi (11); Nestor Bueno (12); Julio Everto Suarez (13); . Eduardo
Garat (14); Daniel Vei^a ^iJ-5); Andrfs Fidalgo and Amalio Juan Rey-. v
.'ﾃつｦ -.Many. consider this list incomplete. On it, however, figures_ the great
.majority of defence advocates of political prisoners who -were practising at
'the time of their arrest. (16)
On December IS, 1974. a representative committee of the Movement for
the Protection of the Legal Profession submitted a memorandum to the Supreme
Court of Justice in which it petitioned the Court to request "the Executive ﾃつｦ
to explain the grounds on v/hich a number.of lawyers had been taken into
custody'5-. In this memorandum were mentioned the names of several lawyers
referred to above and it 'was stated that "they were not charged with any
soecific criminal acts;r. (17)
Some 250 militant lawyers of the court in Cordoba recently had pub-
lished an open letter to the President of the country and to the Minister
of the Interior, calling for the release of Susana Aguad, Susana Buccnic,
Abraham Kozak and Amalio Rey, all cf whom had besn kept arbitrarily under
arrest for more than three months. (18)
4. The following-lawyers have, amongst others, been threatened with murder
by the terrorist organisation AAA ("Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance"):
Mario Hernandez, Csyaldo Acosta, Eduardo Duhalde, Vicento .Zito Lema, Ana
Maria Sanchez, Ines Gassibe, Helena Moreno, Eduardo A. Sanjurjo, Manuel Gag-
f^ero, Rpdolfo Mattarollo, Enrique Schargorocsky, Gustavo Rcca, Lucia Garzon
Maceda, Carlos Altamira, Rafael Lombardi, Alfredo Becerra, Carlos Bongiorno,
Mario Mathov, Rafael Cecilio Hasovich, Mario J-ancaburu, Antonio Chua, Mario
Yacub, Amilcar and Manuela Santucho, J or ft Sivak snd Horacio Ramiro Vivas.
Several of these lawyers had distinguished theoselves in their defence
of political detainees, activities which they have now had to abandon. Some
are in hiding after having had to go so .far as -to change their physical ap-
pearance. Some of these attorneys were contacted by me.
5. Several lawyers had their offices broken into. This is the case of
Alicia Pierini, Pedro.Galin and Alejandro Teitelbaum. Earlier the offices ?
of Mava Menvielle, Marta Dacunda, Eugenio Laera, Silvio Frcndizi and Antonio
Sosa - all defence counsel for political detainees - were also forcibly
On May 10, 1974, the'law offices of Miguel Zavala Rodriguez, Member of
Congress, in Mar delPlata were broken into by agents of the Provincial and
Federal Police. (20) Shortly after the funeral of Rodolfo Ortega Pena, the
homes of several attorneys were forcibly entered by Federal police. Amongst
these were Carlos Gonzalez Gartland and Mario Hernandez. (21)
6. tlore serious attacks have also taken place. The Guild of Attorneys of
the Federal Capital had its head office completely destroyed by plastic ex-
plosives which caused injuries to four passers-by. This occurred on July 17,
1974. The Guild had called a meeting of defence- counsel of political pri-
soners and workers. One of its officers stated that several threats had been
made by a commando named Juan Manuel de Rosas.(22)
The Bar Association of Eahia Blanca's headquarters was the -victim of an
attack with explosives and shooting shortly after the Association had decided
that its members would thereafter be designated as defence counsel for poli-
tical detainees by the drawing of lots, since it was impossible for those
lawyers chosen by the accused to assume .such a responsibility. Those whose.
ﾃつｦnames were drawn had their homes bombed and wore subsequently arrested. The"
Bar Association in Tucuman was also the target of an attack after having pub-
lished .a document protesting against assaults which had been made on lawyers.
Its headquarters were complete1}^ destroyed after having been twice dynamited.
ﾃつｦ * " (23)
The,offices and homes of many lawyers have been attacked by bombs and
rifle fire. This has happened to Attorneys Car"i^ a - ^9-17^1 ez Gartland and
ﾃつｦSaul Lipovetzsky (in October 1974) as well as to Attorneys Vicente Sito Leir.a
and Miguel A. Radrizzani Gorii. In a document issued in the name of the de-
fence counsel for guerrilla fighters arrested in Catamarca, Dr. Silvio Fron-
dizi and Dr. Manuel Gaggero denounced "interference and all types of intimi-
dation to which counsel undertaking to defend those arrested were subjected.
In the case of. Dr. Marcolli, the Provincial Governor of Catamarca required
him to resign from public office and he w^s threatened if he did not comply.
His home was, moreover, forcibly broken into by the Federal Security Agency's
agents. The home of Dr. Martinelli, barrister in Tucuman, was destroyed by
explosives and Drs. Curutchet and Perez were taken into custody when the
hotel in which they were staying the night was broken into."
. The same Dr. Silvio Frondizi (who was later murdered) had "his office
destroyed by a bomb on August 30, 1974. (24) The home of Attorney Amado
Nelson Machado of Rosario who was'making grave accusations against the police
of the district cf Villa Mugueta at the tine, was attacked by a hail of
machine-gun fire. (25)
7. After being repeatedly threatened, Attorneys Pedro Galin (26), Mario 1
Diehl, Rafael J. Perez, Alejandro Teitelbaum, E. Mcgueras, Oscar Rabinovich, j
S-3I7S (a) ;
I-Jirta Sofia and Carlos A. Gonzalez Gartland, have left the country.
8.. The culminating point of this violence directed against "lawyers was
reached with, the dramatic death of several of them.
Before 1973"the only case on record was that of Nestor" Martins, cap-
tured as he was leaving his office 'on December 16, 1970, accompanied by hi;
client, .'Jildp Zenteno. ilartins had denounced several policemen for torture
and was engaged at the time in proving the truth of his allegations in
court. Nothing r.ore has ever been heard either of the lawyer or of his
client. There is no doubt that they are dead. (27)
the death of Nestor Martins belongs, however, to the past. The cur-
"rent political history of Argentina begins with the taking of office by
President Campora on Hay 25, 1373, in the midst of delirious demonstrations
on the part of the people. From that date on, there a-re the following cases
the murder of Antonio Deleroni, defence counsel for political detain-
ees "and ,:Peronista*' militant, and of his conpafllon, Helida Florentina
Arana, took place on No vender 27 > 1973, in the city of San.-I-Iifruel.
.Deleroni had been outstanding in his defence ofﾃつｦ political prisoners
under the military regime and had recently denounced police torture
carried out in the ooiice station of San Miguel. (25) 'ﾃつｦ'ﾃつｦ.*
According to TTle reports in various periodicals, the crime took
place in San Miguel-railway station, shortly after 4-.00'-p."m'. As the
couple was preparing to enter the.train, they were intercepted by a
youth who got out of a car in which were five -other :persons. Deler-
oni's companion, upon"realising their criminal purpose, placed herself
in front of him and was shot several tines.
repeatedly, short and died instantly.
Then Deleroni- himself was
Two policemen who were in a train went off in pursuit of the.cri-
minal and .managed to apprehend and disarm him. He was discovered to
be Ricardo Julio Villanueva, 27 years of a^e, who declared that he was
a. member of the (Peronist) Partido Justiciaiista, and ﾃつｫ;ave his address
as the Superior School of Political Leadership in'-"She capital. The
latter organisation is connected with the nowsrful metal workers'
union (UOM) and occupies an important position in the "Peronista"
Superior Council. In a previous action brought against Villanueva for
the possession of weapons of war, he requested the return of his per-
sonal belongings on a piece of paper with the letter-head- of the Per-
onist Youth of the Republic of Argentina, and' stated that-he was an
official of the Ministry of Social \'elf a re. (29)
(b) On July 31, 1974, at a place in the centre of the city of Buenos Aires
at about 10.30 p.m., a ."ember of Congress, Rcdolfo Ortega Pena, was
shot.as he was getting out of a taxi with his wife. He had distin-
guished himself as an exceptionally energetic defence counsel for poli-
tical detainees. The crime occurred as the '"ember of Congress was set-
ting out of a taxi with his wife. Three men armed with-machine guns
shot him in several places in the head and body. liis wife was wounded
also, although not seriously. The murderers got away and there has
been no news on the results of the investigation. (30) His funeral
was a gigantic popular demonstration, severely repressed by ar~ed
federal police in.armoured cars and on motorcycles. They.staged.raids,
even inside the cemetery, and made 380 arrests- (31) The following day
the Ministry of the Interior issued, a communique stating' that '"'in view
ﾃつｦ of the continual disorders"which took place during the precession (of
mourners), 380 persons had been arrested, of whom 303 were tried for
contempt, illegal possession of arms and mischievous damage. The rest ?
~ - ﾃつｦ were released s ince "they were" minors'"." ("32).' ~~ ;.....: ﾃつｦ'.'"""".....
The demonstrators carried placards on which was inscribed the old
"Peronista'"' motto "La Sangre derramada no sera negociada" (:'7here shall
be no bargaining-with blood that has been shedr:). ﾃつｦ
At the commemorative session of the Chamber of Representatives,
Rep. Merchensky. (FRZJULI) _/a political party, the- Frer.te Justicialista
de Liberacion - Trans^/ stated:' :,The protection and. the safety of Ar-
. . . gentinians are imperilled as they have never bean before in our hist- "?
ory." (33) " ﾃつｦ..-ﾃつｦ'
(c) On September.11, 1974, while returning from the distant town of - Rio
Gallegos where he had been.visiting political prisoners,- Alfredo
Curutchet, a 34-year old lawyer from.Cordoba, was kidnapped and murder-
ed. Previously his home had been the target of bombings and~machine-
gun fire.; The funeral took place in Cordoba. The criminals used a
green Ford Falcon. ﾃつｦ (34)- Para-police groups were, directly responsible
for the crime. (35) The investigations have led to no results.
.-(d) On September 27, 1974, Dr. Silvitr Frondizi was kidnapped frcm his son- * ;
in-law's heme in a spectacular commando-type operation. He was later j
. .^ . found dead in the Ezeiza Recreation Centre. Silvio Frondizi was the * \
brother of a former President of- Argentina and an active defender of -
. .political orisoners. \
.... ..... ;
The kidnapping took olace in the early afternnon in a busv 3uenos i
Aires street and involved a number of nersons.- Traffic was stopped in I
-the neighbourhood for fifteen, minutes and no-one in authority intervened. I
The.lawyer's son-in-law, Mr.-Luis liendiburu, was-killed by machine-gun >
fire .when he tried to protect his father-in-law. Frondizifs wife and a ?
neighbour were wounded. The AAA claimed responsibility for the acts. I
Although the murderers made their getaway in a Ford Falcon with a flat
ﾃつｦ tyre, the investigations undertaken have yielded no results un-to now. :,
ﾃつｦ...-ﾃつｦ. <36> \
(e) Two young women lawyers from Santa Fe, Marta Zamaso and liilda Urquia, :
ﾃつｦ 32 and 22 years of a^e respectively, were found choked to death in a |'
. small creek near the town. They had been arrested by the police and ﾃつｦ I
released because,no charges were laid. Five days later a group of per-
sons kidnapped them and threw them into the water with their hands and ;
ﾃつｦfeet bound. They were also defence counsel for political prisoners. :
S. - As a result of these events, the lawyers who were working on political i
trials and vrho were still at large, began to refuse systematically this sort :.
of case, alleging that they were given no protection. Political prisoners -
began, to be defended by public defenders who only provided a totally inef- :
fective pro forma defence. ;
- ﾃつｦ i
Also several lawyers ccrrol^inod, that whon political orisoners instructed i
le^fO. rounoci of their own choosing, their conditions of detention became
more rigorous. I