"it’s a murderous bloody hell that’s occurring in a country"
April 3, 2014 7:20 PM   Subscribe

Political Hatred in Argentina: An Interview with Uki Goñi
Two days before I met with Uki Goñi, his analysis of president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and the crisis in Argentina was the top article on the Guardian website. Goñi is a correspondent for British newspapers, covering events in Argentina, but his professional experiences before this are enough for a number of lives. He arrived in the city in his early twenties and began work as a journalist at the Buenos Aires Herald, an English language daily and the city’s only newspaper reporting on missing people during the dictatorship. Over the next decade he focused on his band Los Helicópteros, and then wrote three books: El Infiltrado. La verdadera historia de Alfredo Astiz, on the activities of the ESMA, an illegal detention center during the country's National Reorganization Process (1976-1983) responsible for disappearances, tortures, and illegal executions; Perón y los Alemanes, on Perón's involvement with Nazi spies in the country; and The Real Odessa, on Nazi criminals' escapes to Argentina.
posted by the man of twists and turns (11 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Geez. It just never ends in Argentina, does it?
posted by notyou at 8:19 PM on April 3, 2014

If there's a one sentence summary of the article, that would be it.
posted by wotsac at 9:02 PM on April 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Damn, to be an early 1980s journalist.
posted by steinsaltz at 9:52 PM on April 3, 2014

Damn, to be an early 1980s journalist.

More than a few of them didn't survive, so be careful what you ask for.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:37 PM on April 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

posted by brambleboy at 10:55 PM on April 3, 2014

That is a good point. But better to risk death and serve with courage than to curate Upworthy posts about cat pix.
posted by steinsaltz at 11:26 PM on April 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

That was a fascinating read, thanks - I'd never heard of Uki Goñi, and just placed a request for The Real Odessa at the library.
posted by Auden at 2:58 AM on April 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was very aware when I chose that subject, after I’d done the first book on Perón and the Nazis during the war, that no one had looked at this seriously, and that there was nobody serious enough as a historian in Argentina to look at it. Here historians are just as corrupt as journalists, and not very serious about the methods they use to research history; they’re not very good with footnotes and stuff. Argentine historians use the French style to write about something. You know, you lock yourself in your apartment with a bottle of wine and lots of coffee and you think about a subject and then you write whatever your opinion is about the subject. But you don’t actually do any research or get your hands dirty anywhere, except maybe with coffee if it spills.
A hilarious moment in an otherwise not-so-hilarious interview. Great article.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:32 AM on April 4, 2014 [4 favorites]

>Journalism is a triangle, you know? There’s the journalist, and the reader, and the subject matter. And you try to keep it equidistant, because if you’re too close to the subject matter then the reader moves further away, and if you’re too close to your reader then the truth moves further away.

Interesting way of putting it.
posted by forgetful snow at 8:20 AM on April 4, 2014 [5 favorites]

This guy is awesome.
posted by molecicco at 12:37 PM on April 4, 2014

I left Argentina a few years before Goñi got there, and watching from afar as the country descended into hell and then kept beating itself into a stupor over and over again has been one of the more depressing facets of my life since. I haven't been back, and don't think I could stand it, as much as I love the beef and pizza and bookstores and atmosphere. He says what everybody familiar with the place thinks: "if there’s any country in the world that’s been blessed by God it’s Argentina, in terms of natural resources, in terms of beauty, and in terms of human resources"... and yet they perversely insist on fucking it up. Anyway, thanks for posting this long, riveting look at a place and a history that's important to me. This is primo MeFi.
posted by languagehat at 1:36 PM on April 4, 2014 [4 favorites]

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