Argentina US declassifies new documents on country's rights abuses

Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a first batch of 1,000 declassified records to Macri in August.

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US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) delivered a first set of declassified documents to Argentine President Mauricio Macri in August, 2016 play

US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) delivered a first set of declassified documents to Argentine President Mauricio Macri in August, 2016

(PRESIDENCIA ARGENTINA/AFP)
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The US government declassified Monday a new batch of documents shedding light on human rights abuses under Argentina's military dictatorship between 1975 and 1984.

The White House released about 500 newly declassified records, part of President Barack Obama's pledge to provide additional documents to help Argentina hold human rights abusers accountable.

Obama, on his March 2016 visit to Argentina, said that more documents would be declassified, following the 2002 release of more than 4,000 records.

Those documents showed US officials had encouraged the Argentine junta's purge of leftists.

For the first time, the US this year included military and intelligence records as requested by Argentine President Mauricio Macri and human rights groups.

Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a first batch of 1,000 declassified records to Macri in August.

The initial set and the second set of 500 records are available to the public at www.icontherecord.tumblr.com, the White House said in a statement.

"The declassification project represents a historic effort by US Government agencies and departments to search, identify, review for public access, and provide records that shed light on human rights abuses in Argentina between 1975 and 1984," the Obama administration said.

"These newly declassified records represent a continued commitment by the United States to promote justice and reconciliation in Argentina, to underscore the importance of transparency, and to highlight our shared commitment to human rights," it said.

"These records represent the second step in a lengthy and ambitious declassification process."

Obama's trip to Argentina last March was the first bilateral visit by a US president there since Bill Clinton in 1997.

Obama praised Macri for the economic reforms since he took office in December 2015 after 12 years of leftist rule by the late Nestor Kirchner and his wife Cristina.

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