The Dirty War (Spanish: Guerra Sucia) was a period of state-sponsored violence in Argentina from 1976 until 1983. Victims of the violence included several thousand left-wing activists, including trade unionists, students, journalists, Marxists and Peronists guerrillas and sympathizers. Some 10,000 of the disappeared were Montoneros, and guerrillas of the People's Revolutionary Army (ERP).Estimates for the number of people who were killed or "disappeared" range from 9,000 to 30,000; the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons estimates that around 13,000 disappeared.
State terrorism was carried out primarily by Jorge Rafael Videla's military dictatorship as a part of Operation Condor; the acts of repression, torture, and assassinations continued until the return to civilian rule in 1983.
The exact chronology of the repression is still debated, however, as trade unionists were targeted for assassination as early as 1973, and individual cases of state-sponsored violence against Peronism and the left can be traced back at least to the Bombing of Plaza de Mayo in 1955. The Trelew massacre of 1972, the actions of the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance since 1973 and Isabel Martínez de Perón's "annihilation decrees" against left wing guerrillas during Operativo Independencia in 1975, have all been suggested as dates for the beginning of the Dirty War.
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