December 13, 2017

Interview with Graciela Ledo

Sunday, July 6, 2014

‘Angelelli knew about my brother’s forced disappearance’

By Luciana Bertoia
Herald Staff
Monsignor Enrique Angelelli’s murder is a stark reminder for human rights activists in La Rioja province. On Friday, Graciela Ledo and her mother, Marcela Brizuela de Ledo, were present at the courtroom where two repressors were sentenced to life for the bishop’s death on August 4, 1976. In conversation with the Herald, conscript Alberto Ledo’s sister recalled the times when Angelelli arrived to the province and said that days before his death he knew about Ledo’s forced disappearance. Army Chief César Milani is being investigated for his role in Ledo’s abduction in June 1976.

What was your relationship with Angelelli?

I met him when he arrived in La Rioja in 1968. My brother and I were part of the Catholic youth groups. Angelelli ignited our faith. He was a very committed man and he never kept silent. Since his arrival, landowners attacked him.

Was former president Carlos Menem’s relatives behind those attacks?

Yes. Once he was stoned in the Anillaco church. He was said to be a “red bishop.” The daily El Sol devoted its frontpages to harass him. Harassment started before the 1976 coup, that’s why we say that Luis Estrella and Luciano Benjamín Menéndez are not only responsible for his murder. Civilians will have to be investigated.

What was your reaction toward the sentence?

We celebrated the verdict as the judges concluded that he did not die in a car accident. They agreed that he was killed in an attack.

Were you able to talk to Angelelli about your brother’s disappearance before his murder?

Yes, my mother did. I was in Buenos Aires then. He told her: “Marcela, we’ll have to wait. These are dark days.” He knew my brother. He used to visit political prisoners in jail and during the first months of the dictatorship he reported torture cases before ecclesiastical authorities.

What’s your opinion of Judge Daniel Herrera Piedrabuena’s decision to nullify a probe against Milani for Alfredo Olivera’s illegal arrest in 1977?

It is another delay, but he did not discontinue the legal investigation. A new prosecutor will have to be appointed as Horacio Salman (the same prosecutor who took part in Angelelli’s trial) said he wanted to drop charges against Milani.


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