In Argentina, the military rulers marked the third anniversary of the coup which brought them to power with a parade in Buenos Aires on Saturday (24 March).
In Argentina, the military rulers marked the third anniversary of the coup which brought them to power with a parade in Buenos Aires on Saturday (24 March). During the speeches, the leaders made it clear they did not think the country was ready for a return to constitutional rule.
SYNOPSIS: The coup in March 1976 was the sixth in the last fifty years in which an elected Argentine government was toppled by military leaders. In their statement marking the anniversary the commanders said that much remained to be done after three "hard and difficult years". Eventually civilians would be given a greater say in the future of the country.
The parade was an impressive show of strength by the armed forces. The special anniversary statement reassured the people of Argentina that "in due course" the armed forces would seek the co-operation of capable men, with what the statement called "the civic courage to commit themselves to finding a definite institutional solution" for the country.
The Junta's message was read by their Secretary-General, Reynaldo Bignone. The ceremony this year was held in front of the Stella Maris Church near the headquarters of the Navy, one of the three armed forces represented on the Junta.
The Head of State, President Jorge Rafael Videla led the official party at the celebrations. With him were Navy, Army and Air Force Chiefs of Staff who make up the present Junta.
The parade was the only official celebration marking the anniversary. All other political activity has been banned.