On January 23, 1989, 42 operatives of a revolutionary group, the Movimiento Todos por la Patria (MTP), attacked the General Belgrano Mechanized Infantry Regiment No. 3 at La Tablada in the province of Buenos Aires. This article analyzes the accusations of human rights violations committed by the armed forces and the police on the attackers in the aftermath of the assault; the skeptical Argentine government’s response to those allegations before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR); and the commission’s conclusions in its 1997 report. It discusses these developments considering a long-term degradation of civil rights in Argentina, and thus, of the meaning of citizenship itself. The report posed electrifying questions in a country grappling with a nascent democracy and the stalled prosecution of dictatorship human rights abusers. A decade and a half into Argentina’s longest period of democratic rule in more than half a century, the IACHR report posed and answered a question that remained glaringly unanswered in Argentina: At what point does a democratic state assume responsibility for the human rights violations of the institutions it governs, notably the police and the military?
How to Cite:
Sheinin, D., 2017. The La Tablada Attack and the Erosion of Civil Rights in Argentina. Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies, 1(1), pp.77–96. DOI: http://doi.org/10.23870/marlasv1n1ds