General Videla’s Dirty War
General Videla’s Dirty War
We Love History

When, on the evening of June 25th, 1978, Jorge Eduardo Acosta stormed into the cells of the Higher School of Mechanics of the Navy (ESMA), which had been converted into a secret detention center, the prisoners were taken aback by his unusual behavior. One by one, the “Tiger” hugged those with whom he regularly joked around while sipping whiskey during breaks in their torture. The prisoners had heard the cheerful shouts of the fans from Estadio Monumental, situated a mile (one and a half kilometers) away, so they knew right away that the reason for the joy was Argentina’s first soccer World Cup title, which, according to some assumptions, was not a fair win.

Acosta, the commander of one of the most feared terror units in the country, took several people out into the celebrating crowd on that night. Among them were two young girls, Miriam Lewin and Graciela Daleo. When Daleo leaned out the sunroof of the car transporting her and saw the wild crowd, she thought if she started to scream that she is one of those missing persons who had disappeared under mysterious conditions in Argentina in recent years, no one would have listened. “This was the most evident proof that I had ceased to exist”, she recalled. Their detainers later ordered beer and pizza for the girls, whom they had raped with electric cattle prods on other occasions.

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