Rodríguez, a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting on human
rights abuses perpetrated during Uruguay’s dictatorship, was virtually
threatened by military officers who posted his private information on the
before, Rodríguez, a Sirel
contributor, had published an article on the Uruguayan weekly magazine
Caras y Caretas in which he investigated the emergence of a Facebook
group formed by supporters of Foro Libertad y Concordia (Liberty
and Concord Forum), an association that claims to represent hundreds of
retired military officers who could be summoned to appear in court on
criminal charges of torture, kidnapping, enforced disappearance, and murder
committed during the seventies and eighties.
article, entitled “La ofensiva de los indagables” (roughly
Suspects on the Offensive), Rodríguez reported on the makeup of
this support group and its national and international political connections.
The military officers responded by posting all of
Rodríguez’ personal information on the Internet, including his identity card
number, his home telephone number, the names of his parents, and a detailed
route to his house.
military officers responded by posting on the Internet all of Rodríguez’
personal information, including his identity card number, his home telephone
number, the names of his parents and his home address. There was even an
online exchange between members of the group regarding the exact location of
Rodríguez’ house and detailed directions on how to find it and a map.
exactly the same thing he does when he talks about military officers and
discloses our addresses and names. We wanted to inform our comrades in arms;
we’re simply sharing information about a public figure. In no way was this a
threat; there was no intimidating tone,”
Héctor Marcos Varela González, one of the officers who participated
in the Facebook exchange said. “Somebody may want to go to his house and
ask him something, since he’s such an inquisitive man…”, he said
a former cavalry officer, had an active involvement in the dictatorship and
is currently a member of the Maldonado Chapter of the Retired Armed Force
Officers Center, which also includes such former repressive officers as
José Baudean and Eduardo Ferro, both implicated in kidnappings
and torture in Uruguay and abroad.
All of the
human rights organizations expressed their solidarity with Rodríguez,
as did the Uruguayan Press Association, which reported the threats to the