File:Memorándum Embajada USA del 07AG-1979-Contreras.jpg

August 7, 1979 US embassy in Argentina Memorandum of the conversation with "Jorge Contreras", director of Task Force 7 of the "Reunion Central" section of the 601 Army Intelligence Unit, which gathered members from all parts of the Argentine Armed Forces . Subject: "Nuts and Bolts of the Government's Repression of Terrorism-Subversion. Original document on the US National Security Archives' website. According to the National Security Archive, the junta led by Jorge Rafael Videla had United States' approval for its all-out assault on the left in the name of "national security doctrine". The U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires complained to Washington that the Argentine officers were "euphoric" over signals from high-ranking U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.[1]

The Batallón de Inteligencia 601 (601st Intelligence Battalion) was a special military intelligence service of the Argentine Army whose structure was set up in the late 1970s, active in the Dirty War and Operation Condor, and disbanded in 2000.[2] Its personnel collected information on and infiltrated guerrilla groups and human rights organisations, and coordinated killings, kidnappings and other abuses.

The Batallón was under the orders of Guillermo Suárez Mason and ultimately reported to junta leader Leopoldo Galtieri.[3] The unit took part in Luis García Meza Tejada's Cocaine Coup in Bolivia in 1980 and trained Contra units in Lepaterique base in Honduras in the 1980s. It also trained members of the Honduran Battalion 316.

The Peruvian government is known to have collaborated with members of the group in the kidnapping, torture and disappearance of a group of Montoneros living in exile in Lima in June 1980.

Declassification of documents[edit | edit source]

On 1 January 2010, President Cristina Fernández of Argentina ordered that documents pertaining to Batallón 601 be declassified.[2] The documents presented before federal Judge Ariel Lijo contain data on 3,952 civilians, from university professors to concierges, and 345 army personnel who worked for Battalion 601, according to the director of the National Archive of Memory.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ARGENTINE MILITARY BELIEVED U.S. GAVE GO-AHEAD FOR DIRTY WAR, US National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 73 - Part II, CIA classified documents released in 2002
  2. 2.0 2.1 Argentina reveals secrets of 'dirty war'
  3. New Documents Describe Key Death Squad Under Former Army Chief Galtieri, US National Security Archive

External links[edit | edit source]

Template:Argentine intelligence

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