Update to ARG36056.E of 14 December 2000 on the dates and places of demonstrations held by the Children for Identity and Justice, Against Forgetting and Silence (Hijos por la Identidad y la Justicia, Contra el Olvido y el Silencio, HIJOS); whether individuals linked to the organization have been subjected to threats, violence or imprisonment; means of verifying membership in the organization (1999-March 2001) [ARG36742.E]

The human rights organization Children for Identity and Justice, Against Forgetting and Silence (Hijos por la Identidad y la Justicia, Contra el Olvido y el Silencio, HIJOS), founded in 1995 by descendants of individuals who "disappeared" during the period of military rule, is estimated to have approximately 600 members throughout Argentina (Voz del Interior 15 Apr. 2000; El Tribuno 7 Jan. 2001). In a 21 March 2001 interview, a member of the Córdoba chapter of HIJOS stated that while the organization does not issue membership cards, he would be able to verify membership of particular individuals on behalf of the Research Directorate through consultation with fellow HIJOS members.

Asked whether individuals affiliated with HIJOS have been subjected to violence or arrest, the member referred to three specific cases involving members of the organization (ibid.). In the first instance, an HIJOS member in Córdoba was the object of legal action in connection with allegedly defamatory statements made regarding an individual suspected of involvement in human rights abuses during the period of military rule (ibid.). In the second case, four members of the organization in La Plata, Buenos Aires were facing charges in connection with violence during an escrache (public denunciation) (ibid.). In the third instance, a number of HIJOS members were arrested during an escrache in Buenos Aires that had allegedly been infiltrated by agents provocateurs believed to be police officers (ibid.).

The member further claimed that individuals linked to the organization are often subjected to threats, with the number of such incidents tending to increase in frequency whenever individuals suspected of involvement in human rights abuses are arrested or appear in court, or immediately prior to or following an escrache (ibid.). According to the member, the threats are almost always made anonymously by telephone, although he is aware of at least one incident in which a fellow member of the Córdoba chapter of HIJOS received a letter in which she was threatened with death (ibid.).

A number of media reports published in 2000 and 2001 refer to incidents in which individuals associated with HIJOS were allegedly threatened, harassed or assaulted; examples, in addition to information contained in ARG36056.E of 14 December 2000, follow.

According to the Agencia Informativa Pulsar, a news agency, HIJOS member Augustin Di Tofino was threatened by telephone in July 2000 (8 July 2000). The report claimed that other members of the organization and their families had also been threatened (ibid.).

On 30 July 2000, Elizabeth Ceballos, a resident of Cosquín, Córdoba, was reportedly forced into an automobile by three unidentified men, and subsequently beaten, humiliated and threatened in connection with the "active participation" (participación activa) of her partner, Miguel Hernández, in HIJOS (Página/12 1 Aug. 2000; Clarín 1 Aug. 2000). According to newspaper reports, Ceballos had participated in an escrache organized by her partner on 17 July 2000, in which former army corporal Miguel Angel Pérez was targeted (ibid.; Página/12 1 Aug. 2000). Both Hernández and fellow human rights activists had reportedly received threats over the course of the preceding month and a half, with stones thrown at Hernández's house by a group of unidentified individuals on 17 July 2000 (ibid.). Following the incident, Ceballos registered a complaint with the police (ibid.). No additional information on this case could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

In December 2000, according to a report of a national meeting of HIJOS members, participants claimed that the past year had been characterized by a country-wide increase in the number of incidents of threats or intimidation targeting individuals linked to the organization (Página/12 4 Dec. 2000). Participants further claimed that there had been a shift in the tactics used by those seeking to intimidate HIJOS members, involving the placement of posters in areas frequented by members or their families, containing threats and personal data, including members' names, telephone numbers and addresses (ibid.). In the same report, Luciana, a member of an HIJOS chapter in northern Buenos Aires, was cited as saying that Federal Police (Policía Federal Argentina, PFA) officers attached to the 1st precinct had assaulted and threatened individuals who participated in a demonstration organized by HIJOS during the most recent general strike, and that PFA officers have continued to threaten members of the organization since that time (ibid.).

In January 2001, Diana Conti, federal under-secretary for human rights, "condemned" (repudió) intimidating acts which HIJOS members claimed had been committed against them, and assured that the federal state is not responsible for any instances of intimidation or surveillance against such individuals (Yahoo! Noticias 19 Jan. 2001). Conti further stated that such acts "must be promptly investigated by judicial authorities" (deben ser rápidamente investigados por la justicia) (ibid.). No information on any such investigations could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

Numerous reports published since 1999 provide details on demonstrations and escraches held by HIJOS; examples follow.

On 24 February 1999, HIJOS conducted an escrache of Juan Carlos Rolón, an ex-official of the Navy Mechanics School (Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada, ESMA), outside his home at Capdevila 2852, Villa Urquiza, Buenos Aires (Clarín 25 Feb. 1999). Approximately 500 individuals participated in the action, which reportedly ended without incident (ibid.).

On 3 March 1999, HIJOS members demonstrated outside of the federal court in La Plata, Buenos Aires, where proceedings were underway in connection with the disappearance of individuals during the period of military rule (La Nación 4 Mar. 1999).

According to the Coordinating Agency Against Police and Institutional Repression (Coordinadora contra la Represión Policial y Institucional, CORREPI), a non-governmental organization based in Buenos Aires, on 21 April 1999 roughly 200 individuals gathered at Castañón 1437, Buenos Aires, where they participated in an escrache organized by HIJOS and CORREPI against ex-police commissioner Miguel Angel Espósito (CORREPI 21 April-1 May 1999).

On 1 May 1999, CORREPI claimed that approximately 3,000 individuals participated in an escrache organized by HIJOS and CORREPI against former economy minister José Alfredo Martinez de Hoz (ibid. 2-9 May 1999). The action took place outside of the Kavanagh Building, located in central Buenos Aires in front of San Martín Square (ibid.).

On 5 May 1999, roughly 300 people took part in an escrache in Ciudadela, Buenos Aires, organized jointly by HIJOS and CORREPI against former Buenos Aires provincial police officer Samuel Miara (ibid. 8-15 May 1999).

On 5 June 1999, individuals affiliated with HIJOS and CORREPI held an escrache of retired Admiral Emilio Eduardo Massera outside of his country home in Pacheco, Buenos Aires (ibid. 7-12 June 1999). A scuffle reportedly broke out during the action when a police officer dressed in civilian clothes attempted to arrest one of the participants (ibid. 19-26 June 1999). Later the same day, when escrache participants returned to Buenos Aires, they conducted a second action outside of Massera's apartment building in the city's Palermo district, pelting it with eggs and rotten fruit (ibid. 7-12 June 1999).

On 16 September 1999, HIJOS members conducted a demonstration outside a court building on Comodoro Py Street, Buenos Aires, where three former ESMA officials, including Massera, were giving testimony in connection with the theft of babies from women detained at the Navy Mechanics School during the period of military rule (La Nación 17 Sept. 1999).

On 6 November 1999, a group of HIJOS members took part in a Gay Pride parade in central Buenos Aires (Página/12 7 Nov. 1999).

On 11 December 1999, HIJOS conducted a "mobile" escrache in Buenos Aires against current and former officials of the security forces who had been members of the military government (La Gaceta 12 Dec. 1999). Participants demonstrated outside of Massera's apartment building, then marched to the government house of the Province of Buenos Aires, and finally to ex-provincial governor Antonio Bussi's home located at San Martín 3000 (ibid.).

In February 2000, HIJOS members entered the public gallery of a court-room in Buenos Aires where ex-military official Alfred Astiz was testifying, and initiated an escrache against him, chanting slogans and shouting insults (El Mundo 27 Feb. 2000).

On 24 March 2000, individuals affiliated with HIJOS participated in a march to the Plaza de Mayo commemorating the 24th anniversary of the 1976 military coup (Página/12 25 Mar. 2000). Police estimated that a total of 5,000 individuals participated in the commemoration, while organizers claimed that as many as 20,000 people took part (ibid.).

On 13 July 2000, following a march on Congress organized by public sector trade unions, a group of HIJOS members recognized Julio "the Turk" Simón, suspected of human rights abuses during the period of military rule, in a restaurant located at Callao 27, Buenos Aires (La Nación 14 July 2000). During the ensuing confrontation, in which Simón was forced to take refuge in the restaurant washroom, almost a dozen individuals were injured, including three PFA officers (ibid.).

On 27 July 2000, HIJOS members conducted an escrache in Buenos Aires outside of the National Museum of Fine Arts (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes), in order to condemn the alleged involvement of Nelly Arrieta de Blaquier, president of the museum's Friends Association (Asociación de Amigos), in human rights abuses during the period of military rule (ibid. 29 July 2000).

On 27 August 2000, individuals linked to HIJOS carried out an escrache in Santa Fe in which they targeted police officers who had allegedly participated in human rights violations during the period of military rule (Página/12 13 Sept. 2000).

On 28 September 2000, during an escrache of retired Major Jorge Olivera outside of his office at Tucumán 1335, Buenos Aires, members of HIJOS were involved in a violent confrontation with police officers guarding the building (La Nación 29 Sept. 2000). According to the Buenos Aires newspaper La Nación, the violence began when police attempted to stop demonstrators from spray painting slogans against Olivera on the pavement, and paint dirtied the shoes of some of the officers (ibid.). No reports of arrests or injuries could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

On 12 October 2000, approximately 100 individuals, including members of HIJOS, the Resistance Front (Frente de la Resistencia) and the Communist Party (Partido Comunista), participated in a violent demonstration outside of the Colombian embassy located at Carlos Pellegrini 1365, Buenos Aires (ibid. 13 Oct. 2000). Protesting the presence in Argentina of Colombian president Andrés Pastrana, demonstrators threw stones at the building, breaking windows and reportedly injuring two police officers (ibid.).

On 1 December 2000, HIJOS members carried out an escrache in front of military installations located at Sarmiento 1350, Rosario, where retired Colonel Carlos Miguel Landoni, suspected of involvement in human rights abuses during the period of military rule, was participating in a book launch (La Capital 2 Dec. 2000).

On 9 December 2000, members of HIJOS carried out an escrache outside of ex-intelligence officer Rubén Bufano's home at Madariaga 6236, in the Buenos Aires district of Villa Lugano (ibid. 10 Dec. 2000).

On 23 December 2000, HIJOS members, along with representatives of left-wing political parties and other human rights organizations, attempted to conduct an escrache in San Miguel, Buenos Aires targeting Lieutenant-Colonel Mario Zimmerman, an individual who had allegedly participated in human rights abuses in Tucumán during the period of military rule (Página/12 24 Dec. 2000). However, the demonstrators decided not to march on Zimmerman's home when they learned that Aldo Rico, the administrator (intendente) of San Miguel, had organized a counter-demonstration in Zimmerman's defense (ibid.). According to Página/12, approximately 600 people participated in the counter-demonstration, including Rico himself, police officers, and San Miguel public employees who had allegedly been threatened with dismissal unless they took part (ibid.).

On 24 February 2001, five HIJOS "militants" (militantes) were arrested after they threw paint "bombs" at a building located at Capdevila 2852, Villa Urquiza, Buenos Aires, reportedly the residence of ex-ESMA official Juan Carlos Rolón (La Nación 25 Feb. 2001).

On 21 March 2001, HIJOS organized an escrache against President Ferdinand de la Rúa's brother-in-law, Rear-Admiral Basilio Benito Pertiné (Página/12 22 Mar. 2001). Demonstrators, among whom were members of HIJOS, the Workers' Party (Partido Obrero), the Socialist Workers Movement (Movimiento Socialista de los Trabajadores) and the Communist Party, marched from the intersection of Callao and Las Heras Streets in Buenos Aires, past the home of newly-appointed economy minister Domingo Cavallo, finally stopping at Coronel Díaz 2625, where Pertiné lived (ibid.). While demonstrators allegedly spray painted Pertiné's building (ibid.), there were no reports of arrests.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Agencia Informativa Pulsar. 8 July 2000. "En Argentina." http://nuevaradio.org/NOTI/noticias/semana28/Pulsar000708a.htm [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

La Capital [Rosario]. 2 December 2000. Walter Palena "HIJOS repudió a un militar en la presentación de un libro." http://www.lacapital.com.ar [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

Clarín [Buenos Aires]. 1 August 2000. Fabian Garcia. "Secuestran y torturan en Cosquín a la mujer de un periodista." http://www.clarin.com.ar [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

_____. 25 February 1999. "Nuevo 'escrache' a Rolón." http://www.clarin.com.ar [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

Coordinadora contra la Represión Policial y Institucional (CORREPI). 19-26 June 1999. No. 29. Boletín Informativo. http://www.derechos.org/correpi/boletin/29.html [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

_____. 7-12 June 1999. No. 27. Boletín Informativo. http://www.derechos.org/correpi/boletin/27.html [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

_____. 8-15 May 1999. No. 23. Boletín Informativo. http://www.derechos.org/correpi/boletin/23.html [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

_____. 2-9 May 1999. No. 22. Boletín Informativo. http://www.derechos.org/correpi/boletin/22.html [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

_____. 21 April-1 May 1999. No. 21. Boletín Informativo. http://www.derechos.org/correpi/boletin/21.html [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

La Gaceta [Tucumán]. 12 December 1999. "HIJOS contra Bussi." http://www.lagaceta.com/ [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

Hijos por la Identidad y la Justicia, Contra el Olvido y el Silencio (HIJOS), Córdoba. 21 March 2001. Telephone interview with member.

El Mundo [Madrid]. 27 February 2000. Juan Ignacio Irigaray. "Hijos de desaparecidos increpan en un juzgado al torturador Alfredo Astiz." http://www.el-mundo.es/ [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

La Nación [Buenos Aires]. 25 February 2001. "Breves." http://www.lanacion.com.ar [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

_____. 10 December 2000. "Breves." http://www.lanacion.com.ar [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

_____. 13 October 2000. "Serios incidentes en la embajada de Colombia." http://www.lanacion.com.ar [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

_____. 29 September 2000. "Un 'escrache' contra el militar concluyó con incidentes." http://www.lanacion.com.ar [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

_____. 29 July 2000. Amalia Eizayaga. "Glusberg reavivó una antigua controversia en Bella Artes." http://www.lanacion.com.ar [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

_____. 14 July 2000. "Decenas de heridos tras la protesta de los gremios estatales." http://www.lanacion.com.ar [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

_____. 17 September 1999. Alejandra Florit. "Massera se amparó en los dichos de un subordinado muerto." http://www.lanacion.com.ar [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

_____. 4 March 1999. Martín Carrasco Quintana. "En La Plata, surgen indicios sobre los 'vuelos de la muerte.'" http://www.lanacion.com.ar [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

Página/12 [Buenos Aires]. 22 March 2001. Victoria Ginzberg. "En casa del cuñado influyente." http://www.pagina12.com.ar/ [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

_____. 24 December 2000. Victoria Ginzberg. "Rico, con la gorra camuflada, le hizo un contraescrache a HIJOS." http://www.pagina12.com.ar/ [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

_____. 4 December 2000. "Una campaña de amenazas, afiches y seguimientos cada vez más dura." http://www.pagina12.com.ar/ [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

_____. 13 September 2000. José Maggi "Cuando las disculpas suenan pobres." http://www.pagina12.com.ar/ [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

_____. 1 August 2000. Mónica Gutiérrez "Secuestro contra las escraches." http://www.pagina12.com.ar/ [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

_____. 25 March 2000. Victoria Ginzberg. "Cómo recordar para que Nunca más." http://www.pagina12.com.ar/ [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

_____. 7 November 1999. Carlos Rodríguez. "El maravilloso descontrol recorrió Avenidad de Mayo." http://www.pagina12.com.ar/ [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

El Tribuno [Salta]. 7 January 2001. "Se dividió la organización de hijos de desaparecidos." http://tribuno.salnet.com.ar [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

Voz del Interior [Córdoba]. 15 April 2000. "HIJOS cumple cinco años." http://www.intervoz.com.ar [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]

Yahoo! Noticias. 19 January 2001. "Conti repudió intimidaciones sufridas por miembros de HIJOS." http://ar.news.yahoo.com [Accessed 23 Mar. 2001]