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.
Buenos Aires, 12th December, 2001
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
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
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
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,
OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE ARGENTINE REPUBLIC
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
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
In the network of 20th November 2001
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT
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