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Updated: 18.12.2012 15:51
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The Disappeared of Mercedes Benz Argentinia

Following information of Human Right Organisations around 30 000 people “disappeared” during the military dictatorship in Argentina. To illustrate the links between economic and political interests, here is a brief account of the “disappearance” of works council at Mercedes Benz Argentina (today Daimler Chrysler). Between 1976 and 1978 at least 14 members of the works council were arrested, thrown into torture cells and murdered. On the basis of witness’ testimonies and documents, the responsibility can be traced back to the management of the Gonzáles Catan plant the official trade union SMATA, and the management of the German parent company in Untertürckheim.

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  • Half-Century Later, a New Look at Argentine-Nazi Ties”. Article by Larry Rother externer Link, published in New York Times on april, 4, 2005. Out of the text: “…In "The German Connection: The Laundering of Nazi Money in Argentina," Gaby Weber, a German journalist, argues that the Perón dictatorship sponsored an operation to move illicitly obtained wealth to Argentina and then back to Germany. For nearly a decade, her book asserts, German-made cars, trucks, buses and even the machinery for entire factories flowed into Argentina, paid for with dollars that were then used to help finance the "German economic miracle…"
  • Mercedes Benz: Industry and Human Rights. Report by Gaby Weber externer Link Published in Le Monde Diplomatique, Southern Cone edition, Buenos Aires, December 2000, LabourNet translation: Greg Dropkin.
  • The Disappeared of Mercedes Benz. Argentina under the dictatorship. externer Link This expose of Mercedes Benz collaboration with the Argentinian dictatorship in the 1970s appeared in the Uruguayan weekly Brecha and is major news in Germany.
  • Suit in the USA. The survivors and victims are going to sue Mercedes Benz fur human rights abuse during the dictatorship. The suit is being brought in the USA. Article "Victims say Mercedes-Benz complicit in Argentine dirty war" by David Kravetes, published in Assiciated Press on jan. 14, 2004

José Rodriguez and SMATA’s involvement

Even the right-wing, Peronist trade union SMATA under secretary general José Rodriguez was involved in the murders of trade unionists. There are several documents in existence which not only prove the union’s interest in removing “subversive elements”, but also give clear evidence of their cooperation with management and the armed forces. Until 2003 José Rodriguez was vice-president of the international trade union association FITIM.

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