"In Rodolfo's work there was a deep sense for Justice"

"In Rodolfo’s work there was a deep sense for Justice"

Photo: Archive

Rodolfo Walsh, journalist, writer and member of the Montoneros organization, was killed on March 25, 1977 after sustaining an unequal confrontation with an ESMA task force, and 45 years after the death of the author of “Operation Massacre”, Jorge Pinedo, his son-in-law and fellow activist, evokes him “as a militant committed to the goal of changing based on a deep sense of Justice.”

“In Rodolfo’s work there was a deep sense for Justice that was reflected in each of his works. He fought to change reality. That fervor is evident in each of his works and stories. There was no dissociation between his condition as a militant and writer. Everything was part of the same political commitment. For me, he was the closest thing to a father,” Pinedo said in a dialogue with Télam.

And as for the figure of the creator of Operación Masacre, he added: “I would like young people to remember him with productions and works on his works, his stories, his investigations. That would be the best way to honor Walsh.”

Pinedo joined the newspaper La Opinión at the beginning of the 1970s when he was just over 20 years old, and was active in the most combative sectors of the press union, where Walsh was a benchmark for the young generations.

Today an anthropologist and psychoanalyst, in 1977, Jorge was in a relationship with Patricia Walsh -one of the writer’s daughters and who years later became a national deputy-, and affirms that as his father-in-law “Rodolfo was an endearing and tender being, although he did not have a expansive”.

Since the mid-1970s, Walsh had joined Grassroots Peronism and its beloved arm, the Peronist Armed Forces (FAP), and then those groups merged with Montoneros.

For me it was the closest thing to a father Pinedo holds about his figure Photo Archive
“For me, he was the closest thing to a father,” says Pinedo about his figure. Photo: Archive

In 1974, the writer internally criticized the decision of the leadership of the organization to move to the organization and after the coup d’état he was in favor of developing a resistance based on popular insertion.

Pinedo was a member of the Clandestine News Agency (Ancla), the journalistic project devised by Walsh with the purpose of disseminating information about the human rights violations that the machinery of state terrorism carried out in Argentina.

“The operating scheme used in Ancla was similar to the one used by Rodolfo, (Rogelio) García Lupo and (Jorge Ricardo) Masetti in Cuba when they founded the Prensa Latina agency. Information was obtained inside to expose it to the outside. The method we used It was quite handcrafted and it was quite similar to the one that Rodolfo had used in his most well-known investigations,” he remarked.

Based on the information he obtained from his work at Ancla, Walsh compiled the material and data with which to write his famous Open Letter to the Military Junta, on the occasion of the one year anniversary of the military coup of March 24, 1976.

“I learned that he was writing that letter to the Board in November 1976. There are elements in that text similar to the letter he sent to his friends when he learned of the death of his daughter and Montoneros militant María Victoria (Vicky), in a confrontation with Army troops,” he recalled.

One day after writing that letter denouncing the crimes perpetrated by the Jorge Rafael Videla regime and the economic consequences caused by its policies, Walsh was approached by members of the Navy at the corner of San Juan and Entre Ríos, where he had gone to have an appointment that was betrayed.

Armed with a 22-caliber PKK pistol, which his last wife, Lilia Ferreyra, had given him a few months earlier, Walsh tried to resist, but was wounded and arrived at the ESMA in a state of agony, according to testimony given years later by survivors of that attack. clandestine detention center.

“Vicky’s death, added to that of his great friend and colleague Paco Urondo, in Mendoza, had a great impact on Rodolfo’s spirit.”

Photo File
Photo: Archive

In the days after his kidnapping, the writer alternated his days between an apartment located in the area of ​​Ugarteche and Las Heras and a country house in the Buenos Aires town of San Vicente, where he planned to move with his partner Lilia.

On March 26, 1977, Pinedo and Patricia, along with their children, went to look for Lilia in the Federal Capital to meet Rodolfo in San Vicente, where they planned to eat a barbecue.

The idea was to create a pause in the midst of life in hiding so that Walsh could meet the couple’s newborn son, Mariano.

But when they arrived, they found furniture from the house scattered everywhere and bullet holes in the walls of the house, evident traces of an assault carried out by members of the repression.

“Rodolfo knew that he was wanted. We knew that he had to meet some people, but we didn’t know who. In those days, he had a critical relationship with the Montoneros leadership. He was in favor of a withdrawal to preserve the lives of his comrades” Pinedo reviewed.

After the disappearance of the writer, Pinedo continued to be part of Ancla, which became directed by the journalist Horacio Verbitsky, until its dissolution for security reasons in September 1977.

“We continued in hiding until we dissolved. In 1978 we got news that Montoneros was planning a counteroffensive, something that we knew was doomed to failure. I then took advantage of my class background (Jorge is a cousin of the current provisional president of the Senate, Federico Pinedo) to insert myself again into civilian life,” he reviewed.

With democracy restored, Pinedo testified to Walsh’s disappearance before Conadep and later at the War Council of the Armed Forces, in a garage near the apartment that Walsh shared with Lilia, who died in 2015.

“The truth is that I had a pretty bad time with that statement. I was very terrified and quite paranoid. The soldiers who took my statement told me that I came from a ‘good family’, how was it that I had messed with those people?’ The only thing I did was put on a circumstance face,” he says.

At the beginning of 2011, within the framework of the ESMA mega-case trial, Pinedo testified again about Walsh before the Federal Oral Court Number 5.

“That day, I felt very proud to fulfill my role in history, to contribute to the truth of what had happened with Rodolfo being known. I felt that he was concretizing a mandate”, he describes.

Months later, TOF 5 sentenced 18 ESMA repressors for the crimes committed by Task Group 3.3.2, and it was established that Walsh fired his weapon and was later hit by a machine gun blast, while the body of the writer could never be found, although it is presumed that it burned in a property adjacent to the Río de la Plata.

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