The self-image of intelligence agents in an archive of state repression in Argentina

Author María Alejandra Vitale

ISSN: 1996-2088
Affiliations:Professor at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Source: Acta Juridica, 2022, p. 88 – 100


This article examines, from a rhetorical-discursive perspective, the self-image or ethos of intelligence agents in an archive of state repression in Argentina. The archive, which has been open to the public since 2009, once belonged to the Information Service of the North Atlantic Naval Prefecture (SIPNA). The article describes some of the problems related to opening this type of archive, such as disagreements about its current purpose and the historical actors and memory processes involved. It then describes two of the predominant self-images that characterise the intelligence agents who compiled it: that of repressors and that of political experts or analysts. The corpus is composed of documents produced on the occasion of the visit of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to Argentina in 1979. This visit was in response to international complaints about human rights violations by the military government of the time.