Vatican, Argentine bishops prepare to open archives from ‘dirty war’ era
October 25, 2016
The Vatican and the Argentine Catholic bishops’ conference announced on October 25 that they have completed organizing archives from the era of Argentina’s military dictatorship, and will soon make the documents available to victims of the “dirty war” and their families.
The archives will shed light on the relationship between the Catholic bishops of Argentina and the military leaders who ruled the country between 1976 and 1983. During that period, thousands of people—the estimates range from 10,000 to over 30,000—disappeared, as the regime brutally eliminated political opponents.
Pope Francis had pushed for a prompt opening of the archives, after promising relatives of the desparacidos that he would help them find information about their missing loved ones. In a joint statement, the Vatican and the Argentine bishops’ conference said that the organization of the archives had been completed “in accordance with the decisions and directives of the Holy Father, and is the continuation of work already started years ago by the episcopal conference of Argentina.”
The announcement indicated that the archives will be opened to victims and their families, “based on a protocol to be established soon.” Eventually the documents will be made available to other researchers.
The archives are located at the Vatican Secretariat of State, the offices of the Argentine bishops’ conference, and the office of the apostolic nuncio in Buenos Aires.
- Cataloguing of archives related to Argentine dictatorship ended (Vatican Radio)
- Vatican, Argentine church to open ‘dirty war’ archives (AP)