The Minister of Defense of Argentina, Jorge Taiana, announced last Saturday (29/04) the dismissal of General Rodrigo Soloaga as president of the Reformed Cavalry Commission.
The decision was taken after statements by Soloaga in support of the military arrested for crimes against humanity such as torture, kidnapping, murder and disappearance of people, perpetrated during the last civil-military dictatorship in the country, between 1976 and 1983.
According to Taiana, “we are completing 40 years of democracy this year and we will no longer tolerate this type of manifestation”.
It is not the first time that Soloaga publicly assumes his position in favor of military personnel who violate human rights. In 2004, he was Chief of Staff of the Army and asked to retire when he learned that then-president Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007) would withdraw the cadres of coup leaders Jorge Rafael Videla and Reynaldo Benito Bignone from the Military College of the Nation.
The decision to dismiss General Soloaga was taken after statements by Soloaga in support of soldiers arrested for crimes against humanity
At the time, he expressed that Kirchner’s gesture went against “principles and convictions that I am not willing to negotiate, much less with the petty objective of endorsing behaviors that tend to devalue the institution and, in some way, force it to abandon a history full of grandeur, honor and dignity.”
Despite his retirement that year, Soloaga returned to the Armed Forces by decision of the right-wing government of Mauricio Macri (2015-2019). However, the minister’s decision provides for the application of disciplinary sanctions corresponding to those who carry out demonstrations that violate the policies of Memory, Truth and Justice. Therefore, it is possible that he will again be forced to go to the reserve.
In addition to the Ministry of Defense, there was a reaction from the Human Rights Secretariat of Argentina on the case. Secretary Horacio Pietragalla Corti appealed to the press to “avoid the spread of denialist speeches”.
Among human rights organizations, entities such as Mothers and Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo published a statement expressing their concern about statements of this type.
With information from TeleSur