Argentina: Presentation of bill to declare void the debt undertaken by the military dictatorship
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Source: Jubileo Sur
Fri Mar 24 2006

1976- March 24 -2006
30 years: the same looting!

A delegation headed by Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo-Founding Line Nora Cortiñas and Mirta Baravalle, Mario Cafiero and Alejandro Olmos Gaona, among others, submitted today before the Chamber of Deputies of Argentina a bill to declare null and void the external debt undertaken under the 1976 military dictatorship. The delegation received by the Chamber’s President, Alberto Ballestrini, requested the initiative to be considered by congress.

Upon leaving Congress, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate stated: “the thing we have just done is an initiative that can be carried out by all citizens”. Besides, he added “In 1976 the debt amounted to 7.8 billion pesos, it grew in an excessive way and by the end of the ditatorship it reached 46 billion; we know that at the present time there are winds blowing in favour of human rights with regards to those crimes committed during the military dictatorship. Therefore, the external debt should also be considered as a vindication for Argentinian people; let us hope legislators undertake once and for all this responsibility.

One of the grounds for this bill is the fact that it has been widely proven, as evidenced by the judgement of the Federal Justice in the Olmos Case, that the debt undertaken by the military dictatorship is illegitimate, illegal, fraudulent and odious, that it was brutally increased during such period and that it represented and currently represents the violation of all human rights, being nowadays reflected in the deprivation of the right to a better future suffered by most part of the population.

The text submitted to legislators and signed by more than 300 citizens states: “...we believe that just as in the case of human rights violations it was necessary, with all the pain and effort involved, to seek the truth and punish those who were responsible for the crimes against humanity, in the case of the unjustified external debt undertaken by the same dictatorship, the same action should be taken since we understand that both events were part of a common matrix, whose damaging effects last until these days...”.

On the other hand, Nora Cortiñas, Mother of Plaza de Mayo-Founding Line, asserted that she joins this proposal because she believes it is necessary to keep on insisting that the human cost of the debt are the 30,000 people disappeared, the thousands in exile and the thousands of political prisoners who were victims of state terrorism. After the dictatorship, the debt continued to eat away the foundations and causing deaths either by hunger or preventable diseases; it is an illegitimate debt and we should not continue to pay it”.

This action was called for by Diálogo 2000, the Lutheran World Federation Advocacy Program on the Illegitimate External Debt, ATTAC-Argentina, the Ecumenical Space, CONFAR (Argentinian Conference of Men and Women Religious)-Justice and Peace, among others.

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