Former dictator says church knew details of Argentina's 'Dirty War'

What did church leaders, including the late Archbishop Pio Laghi, who served for a time as nuncio to the United States, know, and when did they know it?

According to an account in the Irish Times, former military dictator Jorge Videla, currently serving a life sentence for human rights abuses, said local and international church leaders knew of the regime's practice of "disappearing" opponents and that they often helped to notify families of the deaths of relatives.

"Jorge Videla said he had 'many conversations' with Argentina’s primate, Cardinal Raúl Francisco Primatesta, about his regime’s dirty war against left-wing activists. He said there were also conversations with other leading bishops from Argentina’s episcopal conference as well as with the country’s papal nuncio at the time, Pio Laghi.

“They advised us about the manner in which to deal with the situation,” said Videla in a series of interviews conducted by the magazine El Sur in 2010 but published only on Sunday.

Read the entire story here

Join the Conversation

Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Learn more here