Articles by: Joel Richards

September 16, 2010

The newspaper Crítica de la Argentina lasted just two years. It had been set up with an editorial agenda and mission to match its name – to criticize. However, its downfall would fit into the broader context created by a battle between the government and the Argentine media powerhouses, Clarín and La Nación. Both of these newspapers face fresh accusations of profiting from business deals that were approved and protected by the military dictatorship during the ”dirty war” of 1976-83. Crítica’s financial distress provided a timely example of the far-reaching effects of those deals.

March 31, 2010

Most are in their 80s. They include an optician, a pilot, a teacher, a bank clerk, and a lawyer. Privately, they all suffered the loss of a son, daughter, or, in some cases, two or three children, during the repression of the military dictatorship that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983. And during this year’s 34th anniversary of the 1976 coup, Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner honored four of them for their human rights work during the past three decades.

February 15, 2010

Over a year since he was last seen, there is still no trace of Argentine Luciano Arruga. He has joined the list of desaparecidos, the term that usually refers to the 30,000 disappeared during the brutal military dictatorship that ruled Argentina between 1976 and 1983. The difference is that Luciano was kidnapped and disappeared in a broadly heralded democracy.

December 24, 2009

Thousands of MAS (Movement Towards Socialism) supporters filled the Plaza Murillo on Sunday, December 6, to catch a glimpse of the re-elected Bolivian president Evo Morales on the balcony of the Presidential Palace. Amidst the fireworks, clenched fists, celebrations and MAS flags read a banner, "Now it is time to nationalize the private media." Nationalization and Evo Morales go hand in hand, as the MAS leader has returned control of the nation's resources to the Bolivian state since taking power in 2006. But the banner did not represent an ideological position as much it reflected the anger generated by the opposition the extremely popular Morales continues to face from the country's privately owned media.

November 12, 2009

The three Amarilla-Molfino brothers did not know their mother had given birth to a fourth son. The three older brothers had grieved the "disappearance" of their parents, Guillermo and Marcela, by the military dictatorship that ruled Argentina from1976 to 1983. Yet evidence that came to light just three months ago revealed that Marcela had given birth to a fourth son - Martín - in 1979, while she was held prisoner at the clandestine detention center, Campo de Mayo. Twenty-nine years later, Martín Amarilla-Molfino was united with his three elder brothers, along with aunts and uncles, and saw a photo of his parents for the very first time.