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Consent of the DamnedOrdinary Argentinians in the Dirty War$
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David M. K. Sheinin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813042398

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813042398.001.0001

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Epilogue: Saving Jorge Omar Merengo

Epilogue: Saving Jorge Omar Merengo

(p.149) Epilogue: Saving Jorge Omar Merengo
Consent of the Damned

David M. K. Sheinin

University Press of Florida

Despite that the Alfonsín administration could not right all human rights wrongs, democracy brought remarkable, life-altering change for many. It saved the life of Jorge Omar Merengo. A non-commissioned naval officer convicted of a brutal murder during the dictatorship, his death sentence was commuted by the new democracy. Even though Merengo’s life was saved and despite real progress, democracy could not right past human rights wrongs to the satisfaction of most Argentines. The early euphoria of the post-military period slipped away. Both in the context of the nation’s inability to move past the dictatorship with some sort of finality, and as a consequence of the country’s economic woes through the late 1980s, many wondered if there would ever be a full accounting for human rights violations under the military. After 1983, dozens of reported incidents reminded Argentines that murderers and torturers walked among them. Like the period of military rule itself, Argentine justice has been and continues to be, according to many, capricious and anarchic—charging and convicting some, unable or unwilling to confront others.

Keywords:   Argentina, Justice, Human Rights, Jorge Omar Merengo, Democracy

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