Between 1976 and 1983, a military dictatorship ruled Argentina and brought that country into an era of state-directed terror aimed at the civilian population. During that period, a small and vulnerable human rights community, allied with international backers, attempted to stay the hand of the military state and provide a measure of protection for the victims and potential victims of the dictatorship. The struggle was to defend the most elementary of human rights: freedom from arbitrary detention, torture, and summary execution. While the stakes in this struggle were high-life or death for thousands of individuals-it was nonetheless an unfortunately familiar effort to define the limits of what a state may inflict on its citizens.
Emilio F. Mignone, Cynthia L. Estlund & Samuel Issacharoff,
Dictatorship on Trial: Prosecution of Human Rights Violations in Argentina,
Yale J. Int'l L.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjil/vol10/iss1/9