Ninetieth Birthday Anniversary of a Great Man, Rodolfo Walsh
09 de enero de 2017, 17:44By Maylin Vidal
Buenos Aires, Jan 9 (Prensa Latina) 'The intellectual field is, by definition, the consciousness. An intellectual that does not understand what is happening in his/her times and his/her country is a walking contradiction,' said the great Argentinian journalist, Rodolfo Walsh, who would turn 90 years old today.
A life devoted to the struggle and love for the truth, to a cause that took his live, Walsh did not gave up and practiced journalism until his last days, in hard, cruel and bloody times in his country that mutilated his body but not his ideas, a valid thinking for reporters that follow his example and legacy in these times.
This is a year to pay permanent tribute to him, not only for his birthday, but also because it is the 60th anniversary of his book 'Operacion Masacre' (Operation Massacre) and the 40th anniversary of his assassination.
Hundreds of messages honoring Walsh have been published today on Twitter, where many Argentinians remember him with images and phrases. 'Today, Rodolfo Walsh would turn 90 years old, almost 40n years ago, the genocidal officers from the Higher School of Mechanics of the Navy (ESMA) assassinated him and made his body disappear. Present,! wrote the human rights organization H.I.J.O.S.
An Irish descendant, Walsh was born on January 9th, 1927, in the province of Rio Negro and arrived in the Argentinian capital city in 1941.
Many remember him as a quiet man. According to the late Cuban intellectual Angel Augier, more than a journalist, Walsh was a great writer. 'He use to work a lot and was amazingly kind and sweet. He was not an extroverted person, but a man of few words,' he said one time.
'He was a great talker, incredibly cultivated, very modest. His attractiveness was his sweetness. His did not brag about his vast knowledge or his fame,' said one time the literary critic, who shared some time once with the Argentinian writer in the first years after the news agency Prensa Latina was founded, in 1959.
To journalist Jose Bodes, who had the opportunity to work with him in those years, he was a very quiet man.
He could be seen at the agency halls, talking with Ricardo Masetti, founder and first director to Prensa Latina, the journalist, who was correspondent for the news agency to Buenos Aires, when he was surprised by the disappearance and assassination of Walsh, victim of the last military dictatorship (1976-1983), in very complex times.
Bodes recalled that when Walsh arrived in Havana, he was already an acknowledged figure, after the publication of 'Operation Massacre,' 'a sensational revelation of the execution of Peron's followers that had revolted against the military dictatorship of that time.'
'It was luxury to Prensa Latina to count on his talent. To have called him and the work assigned to him by Masetti at the beginning of the agency was curious. It was a task, another speciality inside journalism, to lead the department of special services. He created that department,' Bodes explained.
In his way to walk, his sort of quietness, calm, he remind us pretty much a protestant priest, said Bodes, who recalled that precisely in the disguise of a priest selling bibles, Walsh discovered one of the camps created by the United States in Gauatemala for the attack against Playa Giron, in Cuba.
After the military coup in March, 1976, Walsh had gone underground as Norberto Pedro Freyre, thanks to an identity card that a police agent, who was his friend, gave him. He had already forged his identity, replacing it for that of Francisco Freyre, when he was investigating the executions in Jose Leon Suarez, told in his book 'Operation Massacre.'
Despite that, on March 25th, 1977, on the corner of San Juan and Entre Rios, he was captured by a group of military men that prepared him an ambush, shot him death and made his body disappear.
Testimonies by survivors said to have seen Walsh's dead body at the former ESMA, but there has been no exact information so far about the whereabouts of his remains.
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