Historia Inmediata

HaD con Raúl Dargoltz

Queridos amigos.

Les reenvio la nota presentada por la Asociación de Periodistas de Argentina, integrada por los periodistas más importantes y representativos de nuestro país, a la WPFC( Mundial Comité de Libertad de Prensa) relacionado con el caso del suscripto.

Como podrán apreciar también obra la carta abierta de HAD.

Les envio un gran abrazo y por supuesto, ahora mas que nunca,y sobretodo gracias a vuestro apoyo, NO ME RINDO.

Raul Dargoltzr
[email protected]


Buenos Aires, 12th December, 2001

Marilyn Greene
Executive Director


Ref Financial support for the legal defence of historian and journalist Raúl Dargoltz, defendant in the lawsuit for slander instigated by a former civil servant of the government of the province of Santiago del Estero.

Dear Mrs Greene,

On the 16th of October the journalist and historian Raúl Dargoltz had a personal audience with the judge who is presiding over his penal trial on the grounds of slander. In 1995 the former Secretary of Social Communication and Institutional Relations of the government of the province of Santiago del Estero, Miguel Brevetta Rodríguez, initiated legal action against Dargoltz after feeling offended by opinions expressed in the book "El Santiagueñazo. Cronica y gestación de una pueblada Argentina" (The Santiago del Estero revolt. Chronicle and management of an Argentine people"). The author of this book is also a teacher at the National University of Santiago del Estero and researcher of the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET).

In his work, published in 1994, Dargoltz relates the events that took place at the end of 1993 in the city of Santiago del Estero, the capital of the province, when thousands of inhabitants reacted to the critical social, political and economic situation of the province and expressed its fury by burning the Government House, the legislative palace and the law courts located in the city. In the course of these actions, also known as the "Santiagueñazo", the homes of leading politicians, including the residences of Brevetta and the governor of the time, Carlos Juárez, were also attacked.

At that time Brevetta was the spokesman of the then governor, Carlos Mujica. Dargoltz claims that the former spokesman was one of the most hated individuals in the province and he reproduces in his book the declarations of former civil servants and citizens of Santiago del Estero who allege that Brevetta was engaged in questionable political manoeuvres and indecorous behaviour.

In the book- a theatrical version also exists-it is pointed out that some days before the social insurrection took place Brevetta, embroiled in a supposed case of corruption, had been freed by the judiciary. The author sustains that in the province "there are those who see in this setting free one more catalyst of the "Santiagueñazo". In another passage a former provincial minister tells Dargoltz that the former spokesman "introduced women to him (that is, to the former governor Mujica), "he took refuge in his home when problems besieged him", "he tended to mock Mujica" and "he was a kind of Rasputin".

In another chapter Dargoltz has recompiled evidence from Brevetta´s neighbours. They claim that "prostitution was rampant" in the former civil servant´s home and that "orgies" took place. These neighbours mentioned that during the ransacking of his home during the "Santiagueñazo" a neighbour left Brevetta´s residence with an artefact designed to give auto-erotic pleasure and that this image was, in fact, captured by television.

The former civil servant considers that Dargoltz and "El Despertador Ediciones" which has published the book-are guilty of the crime of libel enshrined in articles 109 and 110 of the Penal Code. According to Brevetta Rodríguez the journalist "has recourse in the course of his infamous allegations to the supposed testimony of anonymous informants whom he identifies only by their initials, taking refuge also in journalistic cuttings and other sources of doubtful origin". Since he operates in this way the author reveals that "his objective is to set out to slander me for reasons that I do not understand unless it is the desire to make money" the plaintiff states.

With regard to the the role of Brevetta in the events, the author does not, n fact, give facts but an opinion which as such cannot be proved as either true or false and this is the product of his own impression and of those he has interviewed.

As for personal testimonies, he cites former civil servants, indicating the position that they held during the events narrated and he only reserves his right to protect the names of his sources. Finally, Dargoltz does not invent any of the personal accounts of the neighbours, nor does he claim to have gathered them personally but faithfully reproduces articles that have been published in newspapers in Santiago de Estero, identifying these sources throughout with the name and date of the edition.

The legal proceedings are to be held in Lawcourt no 12 of the City of Buenos Aires, presided over by Raul J.E. Garcia and processed by Secretary no 78. As a result of health problems suffered by the defending lawyer of the journalist, the trial will be delayed until December 21st, 2001.

"The trial is really putting the "Santiagueñazo" and what it represents on trial and I can´t hide my preoccupation about the political treatment that Brevetta Rodríguez is giving this theme here in Santiago del Estero," Dargoltz told PERIODISTAS. The journalist explained that he is even more worried about the harsh conditions facing those in the province who adopt a critical position with regard to the political elite and the governor Juárez who is also mentioned in the book.

In this connection, we consider that primacy must be given to a sound technical defence of the defendant, supporting him in the free exercise of his profession which is to canvass, always in good faith, questions of evident public interest and-as we have already stated-always with the prudence that professional standards dictate.

As we are aware, our country already counts on judicial antecedents of violent events related by professionals who, in the end, are the only ones indicted by any kind of judicial procedure.

We deeply regret this phenomenon and it would be extremely serious if it were to occur again. As a result, the Association has resolved to do its utmost to offer its greatest possible support during the trial.

It is important to point out that we claim here, and we will make this known to the defence lawyer, the application of the doctrines based on the emerging resolutions of the doctrine of the "New York Times c/ Sullivan", as well as the Declaration of the Principles of the Freedom of Expression of the CIDH in its 108th Period of Sessions and the "Lingens" case and other similar cases of the European Court of Human Rights.

PERIODISTAS presents before the World Committee of the Freedom of the Press and the Co-ordinating Committee of Organizations of Freedom of the Press a request for financial support through SPECIAL FUNDS destined for journalists who are being persecuted on the grounds of alleged criminal defamation. The international exposure that would be gained by WPFC´s involvement in the Raúl Dargoltz case would promote a diffusion not only of his case but of other Argentine journalists who today are being persecuted for exercising their professional right to inform the general public.

Mabel Moralejo Martín
Executive Director



Ana Barón, Santo Biasatti, Nelson Castro, Ariel Delgado, Rosendo Fraga, Carlos Gabetta, Rogelio García Lupo, Isidoro Gilbert, Andrew Graham-Yooll, Mariano Grondona, Roberto Guareschi, Mónica Gutiérrez,Ricardo Kirschbaum, Jorge Lanata, José Ignacio López,Fanny Mandelbaum, Tomás Eloy Martínez, Joaquín Morales Solá, María Moreno, Silvia Naishtat, James Neilson, Teresa Pacitti, Magdalena Ruiz Guiñazú, Hermenegildo Sábat, Fernán Saguier, Claudia Selser, María Seoane, Oscar Serrat, Ernesto Tiffenberg, Horacio Verbitsky.


The following signatories, historians and teachers of the National Universities of Tucumán, Santiago del Estero, Mar del Plata, Entre Rios, Rosario, Comahue, Patagonia Austral, Córdoba, Luján, Jujuy, Centre of the Province of Buenos Aires, Cuyo, of the University of Buenos Aires and the Catholic Unversity of Santiago del Estero, of CONICET; of the Spanish Universities of Santiago del Compostela, Murcia, Cádiz, Alicante, Granada, Huelva; of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, of the Autonomous University of Chiapas, of the Autonomous Metropolitan University of México-Xochimilco, of the University of Guanajuato; of Brazil´s Federal Fluminense University, Fortaleza University, the Lutheran University of Brazil; of the University of Zulia, of the Andes and the Central University of Venezuela; of the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua; of the Pontifical Catholic University of Perú; of the University of Tel Aviv (Israel); of the University of Paris X11 (France); of the University of Venice (Italy); of the University of Saskatchewan (Canada) and the University of San Diego, California (USA).

WE WANT TO MAKE CLEAR our solidarity as academics and citizens with the teacher of history of the National University of Santiago del Estero, a researcher of CONICET and an active member of the International History Debate Network, Raúl Dargoltz, whom a former civil servant of the existing corrupt government of that province will take to court on the 10th of December 2001in Buenos Aires for alleged libel on the grounds of his having written a history book, "El Santiagueñazo. Gestación y crónica de una pueblada argentina"(Buenos Aires 1994).

We demand the annulment of this political trial that violates the freedom of the scholarship and research that define the autonomy of University Institutions and of their teachers and researchers, against the aggressions of power in their different manifestations.

We demand the annulment of this political trial that violates the freedom of publication and expression which define the very existence of democracy.

We demand the urgent collaboration of social media to help to publicize the injustice that is about to be committed with respect to the teacher, Mr Dargoltz, which would moreover prove to be a dangerous international precedent for the violation of academic freedom.

In the network of 20th November 2001


Prof. Carlos Barros
Co-ordinator of History and Debate
Department of Medieval and Modern History
Faculty of History and Geography
University of Santiago de Compostela
15702 Santiago de Compostela
[email protected]