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Open Access Publications from the University of California

La Noche de los Lapices

  • Author(s): Coba, Phil Mike
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License

The Night of the Pencils (in Spanish: La Noche de los Lápices), was a series of kidnappings and forced disappearances, followed by the torture, rape, and murder of a number of young students in September 1976, during the last Argentine dictatorship, also known as the National Reorganization Process. In March 1976 the Argentine military seized power following a coup d'état. The military junta then implemented what was called the National Reorganization Process which was a set of policies used by the regime to oppress resistance to its rule. The process included kidnappings, torture and murder. Meanwhile the Montoneros, a leftist guerilla group, responded violently to the junta and its actions as they enlisted other Argentines to join their campaign against the regime. Those enlisted included young, left-wing, politically active students who formed an organization named the Unión de Estudiantes Secundarios (Union of High School Students) of La Plata. The UES was committed to achieving school reforms and other political reforms, through demonstrations and protests that irked the ruling regime.

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