Political violence continues to run rife in the Argentine despite attempts by the military government to stamp out left-wing opposition.
Political violence continues to run rife in the Argentine despite attempts by the military government to stamp out left-wing opposition. This month alone more than a hundred people - nearly all known guerrillas - have been killed.
SYNOPSIS: Although the violence is wide-spread, the capital, Buenos Aires, is generally considered the hub of left wing opposition to the military regime. Troops keeping a close watch on civilians in the city and suburbs is now commonplace, as the government sticks to its pledge to stamp out terrorism.
Lately the poorer parts of the city - the shanty towns - have been receiving an increasing amount of attention from the troops. The military claims that these places are likely hideouts for terrorists and arms caches. Although this is top priority the towns are also good hiding places for people living in the country illegally. As well as being armed the searching force usually brings in armoured personnel carriers and a helicopter to keep a watch on things from overhead in case trouble breaks out.
The shanty town dwellers seem to be used to the searches and the children in particular mingle freely with the soldiers - accepting gifts of sweets and trinkets. But searching the towns is not just a cursory investigation. The soldiers thoroughly go through everything - cupboard, personal effects, in fact anything where a weapon could be concealed. In many countries this invasion into privacy would be construed as an attack on human rights. But in Argentina, 1976, its become a way of life. Throughout the world there's been growing concern about the situation in the Argentine and this month a three member commission from Amnesty International visited the country to investigate alleged infringements of human rights.
It's expected to make a report to the organisation's executive next month but it probably won't be made public until next year.