del Caso Kimel en castellano
Movimiento de Defensa de
Eduardo Kimel (Castellano/English)
Eduardo Kimel is a freelance journalist born in Buenos Aires, Argentina,
who has courageously taken the blunt of the incongruent behavior of the Argentine Justice
during its shameful handling of the massacre of the five Palotine martyrs.
His Book, "The Massacre at St. Patrick's"
Eduardo Kimel's book was published by Editorial
Liberarte in 1989, with an initial run of only 2,000. The publishing company gave
him that year's literary prize for "best investigative journalism." Kimel
had started investigating three years earlier, after a colleague suggested to him the
topic. Although he had never dealt with Catholic or religious issues, he found the
story of the massacre of five religious men in a conservative suburb of Buenos Aires very
intriguing. His initial research was supported entirely by Father Kevin O'Neill. Kimel also had access to the results of
the judicial process, which had been carried out by two Federal Judges over many
years. As you can read below, he criticized Judge Rivarola's decisions while he was
handling the case under the military dictatorship's watch. This earned Kimel a libel
suit. The new edition of the book appeared under Editorial Lohle-Lumen for the 20th
anniversary of the masscre in July 1996 (left photo).
The Process Against Kimel
On April 8, 1999, journalist Eduardo Kimel was given a one
year suspended prison sentence for defamation and fined US$ 20,000 by the IV Court of the
National Appeals Chamber in Criminal and Correctional Matters as a result of statements
made in his book, "La Masacre de San Patricio" (The San Patricio Massacre).
Kimels book tells the story of the July 4, 1976, assassination of three priests and
two seminary students of the Palotine Order in Buenos Aires by one of the "task
groups" in charge of illegal repression during the last military dictatorship. The
charges against Kimel were filed by Guillermo Rivarola the judge responsible for
carrying out the judicial investigation into the murders who was offended by
passages in the book in which the journalist criticised the judges handling of the
case. In his book, Kimel wrote that "Judge Rivarola fulfilled the majority of
the official requirements of the investigation. However, it is evident that a series of
decisive factors that could have shed light on the assassination were not taken into
account. Evidence that the source of the order to commit the crime had come from the
innermost core of military power paralysed the inquiry, bringing it to a standstill."
The IV Court's verdict, which noted that "the book is marked by a harsh blanket
critique of the judges who were then members of the judicial power, and especially against
the defendant Rivarola," overruled a previous one by the judges of the VI Court of
the same Chamber, who had considered that Kimel "exercised his right to report in a
non-abusive and legitimate way with no intention to damage Rivarolas honour."
The new verdict was condemned by press organisations in Argentina and around the world.
Periodistas called it a "disgraceful sentence" aimed at punishing "the
independent presss efforts to rescue from forgetfulness and impunity one of the many
atrocities committed by the last military dictatorship."
In the spring of 1999, a court gave journalist Eduardo
Kimel a year's prison sentence (suspended) and imposed a fine of $20,000 (20,000 pesos)
for comments made in a book titled "La Masacre de San Patricio." On April 16,
the OAS Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression issued a statement criticizing this
ruling as an infringement on freedom of expression.
Eduardo Kimel and his lawyer appealed the sentece to the
Supreme Court, which was confirmed in November of 2000. Now,
Kimel and most journalists' associations, Human Rights organizations and even government
entities are bringing his case forward to the OEA (Organizacion de Estados Americanos),
the highest forum in the Americas to condemn the irrational application of the law to a
true defender of Human Rights and Freedom of Expression.
Please access the EDUARDO KIMEL INTERNATIONAL DEFENSE MOVEMENT page to lend your
support to his cause. You can include your personal comments and also offer your monetary contributions to his legal defense fund.
All submissions related to contributions are forwarded directly to Eduardo Kimel in
Argentina. Thank you.