Information on incidents of violence or harassment against members of the Unión Cívica Radical (UCR) in 1994 or 1995 (follow-up to Responses to Information Requests ARG21360.E of 4 August 1995 and ARG21580.E of 25 August 1995) [ARG21811.E]

The information that follows was provided by the National Committee (Comité Nacional) of the Unión Cívica Radical of Argentina in a fax sent to the DIRB on 1 September 1995, and adds to the information provided in the Responses indicated above.

During 1994 no cases of harassment or violence against members of the UCR were recorded.

During the December 1993 a popular uprising against provincial authorities and the burning of the legislature and other government facilities in the province of Santiago del Estero, the homes of political leaders of the governing party and the UCR were attacked. The house of Dr. José Luis Zavalía, President of Santiago del Estero's UCR and currently a national deputy, was surrounded by approximately 100 persons who intended to burn it down. Dr. Zavalía and some UCR members defended the house, and some shots were fired. The attack cannot be attributed to the government; however, during the two-hour standoff the police did not show up.

In 1995 the following actions were recorded by the Central Committee of the UCR:

On 13 February 1995 Carlos Vila Ortiz, a journalist with Rosario's daily La Capital and a UCR pre-candidate for governor of the province of Santa Fe, was stabbed in the abdomen. He is still recovering from the attack and will undergo surgery soon. Dr. Vila Ortiz had received threats since 1994; during the attack he was accused of being pro-Jewish and anti-Nazi, and was told to withdraw his gubernatorial candidacy. A thorough investigation was requested to the Interior Ministry with no results so far. The attack is thought to be the work of far-right (ultraderecha) elements linked to the government.

Dr. Vila Ortiz does not practise journalism any more, as he continues to receive threats against his family and himself.

On 26 June 1995 the UCR House (Casa de La Unión Cívica Radical) in the city of Cordoba was burned down. The fire was started by a group of people during a demonstration amid strikes by government workers. Party symbols, files, computer equipment and facilities were destroyed. According to the local police and the Interior Ministry a far-left (ultraizquierda) group called "Quebracho" is responsible for the fire.

On 3 July 1995, while the Superior Education Law (Ley de Educación Superior) was being debated, attempts to demonstrate by university student organizations, most of which are controlled by the UCR, were hampered by the overwhelming police operations (imponentes operativos policiales) and their infiltration by individuals who provoked the police. One demonstration resulted in arrests, and the authorities tried to hold Franja Morada (Purple Stripe), the university branch or rama universitaria of the UCR, responsible for rioting.

During a debate in the Chamber of Deputies on 23 August 1995, Dr. Domingo Cavallo, Economy Minister of Argentina, accused Dr. Raúl Baglini, former deputy and former president of the UCR block, of having links with a reputed mafia. In 1993 Dr. Baglini had denounced a Government Post (Correo Estatal) administrator, who was a personal friend of the Minister, of having favoured private postal companies through an administrative directive (resolución administrativa).

The Minister also accused deputy Benedetti of working for the same reputed mafia. Deputy Benedetti had previously denounced the Minister for tax evasion.

In both cases the Minister was unable to provide evidence for his allegations. The UCR has requested that the Minister be subject to judicial proceedings for protecting mafia organizations operating within the national government.

On 27 August 1995 office of the the Economic Research Centre (Centro de Investigaciones Economicas, CECE), formed by deputies and economists of the UCR, was broken into. The stolen items included computer equipment and investigative material on corruption within the government. The perpetrators have not been identified.

As a closing comment the source states that, besides the specific incidents described above, the political activity of the UCR is carried out without major problems. The source also points out that the UCR has been noticing for some time that the government, and the President of the Republic in particular, is attempting to exert a hegemonic government that holds little respect for the forms and norms of a republic (un gobierno hegemónico poco apegado a las formas y normas republicanas).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB 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.


Comité Nacional, Unión Cívica Radical (UCR), Buenos Aires. 1 September 1995. Fax received by the DIRB.