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Jacobo Timerman vs. the Junta

November 11, 2017

Jacobo Timerman, an Argentine journalist and human rights activist who documented his torture by the military junta in his book, Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number, died on this date in 1999 at age 76. When his 2 1/2-year ordeal began in April 1977, Timerman was the publisher of La Opinión, a left-leaning newspaper that was reporting the names of activists who had been “disappeared” by the military dictatorship. In 1979, he was stripped of his Argentine citizenship and forcibly exiled. Living in Israel, he wrote a scathing critique of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon. He also wrote books that were highly critical of the Chilean and Cuban systems. In 1984, Timerman returned to Argentina and reclaimed his newspaper and property. By then, the Argentine junta, responsible for the murder of tens of thousands of activists, educators, and innocents (and with a special vendetta against Jews), had been replaced by a civilian government following Argentina’s defeat by Great Britain in the Falkland Islands/Malvinas War.

“No one had to impose my enemies on me. I selected them myself. I didn’t avoid them: I pointed them out, marked them, attacked them.” —Jacobo Timerman