Argentina's military leader, President Jorge Videla, has hinted at an end to army rule. He?
Argentina's military leader, President Jorge Videla, has hinted at an end to army rule. He was speaking at a presentation of military awards in Tucuman, a northern province.
SYNOPSIS: The president's visit to Tucuman coincided with the 164th anniversary of the Battle of Tucumasn in which Argentine independence fighters defeated Spanish forces and during the ceremony, he paid tribute to troops who've been battling left-wing guerrillas in the province since 1975. Many of the men were presented with citations and medals, and some of the widows of men who've died during the fighting were there to receive awards on behalf of their late husbands.
It is now six months since President Videla and his military government came to power after ousting the government of President Maria Estela Peron. In his address, which was broadcast nationwide, General Videla warned Argentineans that a return to democratic process would be lengthy, and that he would not succumb to pressures for elections or try again political combinations whose failures were remembered by the country. He went on to say that the annihilation of guerrillas was one of the main objectives of his government. "The guerrilla movement is broken and isolated," he added. "Their leaders have been eliminated and a great part their logistic and propaganda apparatus has been destroyed."