Omar Graffigna

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Omar Graffigna
Omar Graffigna.JPG
Born (1926-04-02) April 2, 1926 (age 90)
Clarke, Santa Fe Province[1]
Nationality Argentine
Title Commander of the Argentine Air Force
Term January 26, 1979 — December 17, 1981
Predecessor General Orlando Ramón Agosti
Successor General Basilio Lami Dozo

Omar Domingo Rubens Graffigna (born April 2, 1926) is a former Argentine Air Force officer who served in the second military junta of the National Reorganization Process dictatorship. Alongside Basilio Lami Dozo and Reynaldo Bignone he is one of the last surviving members of the dictatorship.

Life and times[edit]

Graffigna was born in rural Clarke, Santa Fe Province. He graduated from the School of Military Aviation, and became Chief of Staff of the Argentine Air Force after the March 1976 coup. He initiated the Cóndor missile program during his tenure as Air Force Chief of Staff, and in 1978, the Cóndor I sounding rocket was converted into a tactical missile, albeit without a sophisticated guidance system.[2]

He succeeded General Orlando Agosti as Commander of the Air Force in January 1979, and continued Agosti's policy of having the post serve as a moderating counterweight to the hard-line Navy stance. Graffigna was a vocal advocate of the Dirty War, however, stating in December 1979 that "in a dangerously disoriented world, destiny has given us only one option: to be part of the spiritual reserve of the West." [3]

Graffigna was indicted for kidnapping, torture, robbery, invasion of property and forgery of public documents during the historic Trial of the Juntas in 1985. His case benefited from a ruling during the sentencing phase of the trial that punishment should be determined by the relative roles of each branch of the Argentine Armed Forces in each case, thereby lessening sentences for the Air Force commanders on trial. Graffigna and his successor, General Basilio Lami Dozo, were acquitted of all charges.[4]

In 2003 Graffigna was ordered arrested again by Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral pursuant to a request for his extradition to Spain by Judge Baltazar Garzón on the charge of crimes against humanity.[5]

Prime Minister José María Aznar of Spain initially decided that his extradition was unwarranted, thereby delaying the order. In 2005, however, the Supreme Court of Spain annulled that decision and ordered that the extradition proceedings begin.[6] Graffigna and Lami Dozo unsuccessfully petitioned the Argentine Federal Court for a habeas corpus ruling for what they maintained was a lack of jurisdiction on the part of Spanish courts.[5]


  1. ^ Reseña Histórica de Carrizales (Clarke) (Spanish)
  2. ^ Argentina: Missile Chronology
  3. ^ McSherry, J. Patrice. Incomplete transition: military power and democracy in Argentina. St. Martin's Press, 1997.
  4. ^ Ciancaglini, Sergio, and Granovsky, Martín. Nada más que la verdad: el juicio a las juntas. Buenos Aires: Planeta, 1995.
  5. ^ a b Clarín (13 Apr 2006) (Spanish)
  6. ^ La Nación (Spanish)
Military offices
Preceded by
Orlando Ramón Agosti
Commander-in-Chief of the Argentine Air Force
1979 – 1981
Succeeded by
Basilio Lami Dozo