Vatican to open its archives related to Argentina’s military dictatorship, 1976-1983

In a very important move, Pope Francis has instructed his Secretary of State to begin declassifying Vatican reports and diplomatic correspondence from the era of the Dirty War in Argentina, during which more than 20,000 people were disappeared.

The potential for more fully understanding this period of Argentine history cannot be understated.

Lita Boitano, president of the human rights group Familiares, had this to say:

“In 1979 I was in Rome and had asked for a meeting with Pope John Paul II, which I didn’t get, but I got a meeting with a Vatican official. When I gave him my name, he left and quickly returned with a file card with my name on it. It had all the details of my two kids and the exact dates of their kidnappings, they knew exactly who I was.”

This is potentially a massive find that may help bring closure to many families who still yearn for knowledge about the disappearance and demise of their sons and daughters, husbands and wives.

An example of adverts in Argentine newspapers commemorating

the disappearance of loved ones.Source: Pagina 12

For its part, Monsignor Laterza of the Vatican’s State Department declared, “The collection of the material has been concluded and there is a system to scan and digitize it. It could be available to the public in one year.”

For families and historians, this is an important development that is vital to claiming a fuller understanding of a dark moment in Argentina’s recent past.

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