1976 Argentine coup d'état
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|1976 Argentine coup d'état|
|Part of Dirty War|
|Location||Casa Rosada, Buenos Aires
|Planned by||Argentine Armed Forces|
|Date||24 March 1976|
|Outcome||Overthrow of María Estela Martínez de Perón. Jorge Rafael Videla becomes President of Argentina|
The 1976 Argentine coup was a right-wing coup d'état that overthrew Isabel Perón on 24 March 1976, in Argentina. In her place, a military junta was installed, which was headed by General Jorge Rafael Videla, Admiral Emilio Eduardo Massera and Brigadier-General Orlando Ramón Agosti. The junta took the official name of "National Reorganization Process," and remained in power until 1983.
Although political repression (the so-called "Dirty War") began long before the coup, it was heavily extended after the event and resulted in the "disappearances" of between around 9.300 and 30.000 persons, depending on sources.
President Juan Domingo Perón died on 1 July 1974. He was succeeded by his wife, María Estela Martínez de Perón, nicknamed "Isabelita", who proved incapable of controlling the rapidly deteriorating political and social situation..
In 1975, Operativo Independencia was launched, a Vietnam-style intervention aiming to annihilate the guerrilla strongholds in the Tucumán jungle. That same year, the country was subdivided in five militare zones, with each commander given full autonomy to unleash a carefully planned wave of repression.
By January 1976, Argentina's fate was sealed. The military was biding its time, enjoying the support of the United States and the Argentine elite, and the threat of another coup was poking its head higher. Isabel was delaying the inevitable.
Shortly after 01:00 am President Martínez de Perón was detained and taken by helicopter to the El Messidor residence. At 03:10 all television and radio stations were occupied. Regular transmissions were cut and replaced by a military march, after which the first communique was aired:
"People are advised that from the date, the country is under the operational control of the Joint Chiefs General of the Armed Forces. We recommend to all inhabitants the strict compliance of the provisions and directives emanating from the military, security or police authorities, and to be extremely careful to avoid individual or group actions and attitudes that may require drastic intervention from the operating staff. Signed: General Jorge Rafael Videla, Admiral Emilio Eduardo Massera and Brigadier Orlando Ramón Agosti."
The population received the M-113s surrounding Casa Rosada, jeeps patrolling every major city, state of siege, and martial law with relief and indifference. The morning was apparently uneventful, but as the day progressed the detentions multiplied. Hundreds of workers, gremialists, students and political activists were abducted from their homes, workplaces or in the street.
March 24 is now designated the Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice.
- The rank of brigadier-general in the Argentine Air Force is equivalent to 3-star or 4-star rank. See Brigadier-general#Argentina for more information.
- February 16, 1976 - Military Take Cognizance of Human Rights Issue, National Security Archive