Skip to main content

Newly obtained declassified documents detail how human rights abuses in 1970s-80s Argentina drove a new international role for the U.S.

Published by ProQuest in collaboration with the National Security Archive, DNSA provides online access to the most significant declassified primary documents in key areas of U.S. foreign and military policy since 1945.

"The National Security Archive's relationship with ProQuest makes a particularly powerful content set far more accessible to students, researchers, historians, political scientists and international relations specialists," said NSA Director Tom Blanton. "These extraordinary records help to further an understanding of issues with striking relevance today — Latin America's struggle to cope with its violent political history; the underpinnings of U.S. policy toward Latin America; and the role of human rights in the international arena."

Argentina, 1975-1980: The Making of U.S. Human Rights Policy, the 39th DNSA collection, reveals U.S. officials grappling with human rights violations on a scale never heard of in the Western Hemisphere, punctuated by the disappearance of tens of thousands of people at the hands of Argentine security forces. The declassified records in this set — most of them acquired through original research by National Security Archive project staff and never before published — have been carefully selected to tell the story. The collection opens with the clamoring of the Argentine establishment in early 1976 for an end to chaos, anarchy, and political violence, which culminated in support for the military coup d'état. By the second half of that year, U.S. officials were noting the disappearance of thousands of people, and in 1977, the Carter administration began to implement an innovative and vocal human rights policy to stop the military violence. The collection wraps up during the early years of the Reagan administration, with U.S. officials such as Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams pressing Argentine generals to address the wrenching problem of "children taken from their families during the dirty war” by security forces.

DNSA is created by the National Security Archive, with each set carefully curated by an expert in the field. Each collection is years in the making, as the Archive selects the most important documents based on broad archival research, active use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), including going to court if necessary, and even the sourcing of documents from relevant countries, as appropriate. The result is a comprehensive set of declassified materials providing unparalleled coverage of the subject, event, or region.

ProQuest's expansive digitization program broadens access to unique information that advances research and global knowledge. To learn about ProQuest’s mission to make serious research more productive, visit

About the National Security Archive
The National Security Archive is an innovative, award-winning research institute, library and publisher of declassified documentation based at The George Washington University. Since 1985 the Archive’s mission has been to expand public knowledge and debate over critical issues in United States foreign policy by identifying, making available (through the Freedom of Information Act), organizing, indexing and disseminating the primary sources that make up the available historical record.

About ProQuest (
ProQuest connects people with vetted, reliable information. Key to serious research, the company has forged a 70-year reputation as a gateway to the world's knowledge — from dissertations to governmental and cultural archives to news, in all its forms. Its role is essential to libraries and other organizations whose missions depend on the delivery of complete, trustworthy information.

ProQuest's massive information pool is made accessible in research environments that accelerate productivity, empowering users to discover, create, and share knowledge.

An energetic, fast-growing organization, ProQuest includes the ProQuest®, Bowker®, Dialog®, ebrary®, and Serials Solutions® businesses and notable research tools such as the RefWorks®, and Pivot services, as well as its' Summon® web-scale discovery service. The company is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with offices around the world.

11 December 2012

Featured News Releases

ProQuest Revives The Statistical Abstract of the United States

ProQuest has published the 2013 edition of the Statistical Abstract of the United States, rescuing one of researchers’ most valued reference tools — the premier collection of statistics on the United States and its people.
Read More

ProQuest is Named Among Detroit Free Press National Standard Top Workplaces

ProQuest, an Ann Arbor-based information company and creator of award-winning technologies, has been selected as a Detroit Free Press National Standard Top Workplace.
Read More

ProQuest Enhances Strategic Acquisition and Discovery of e-Books

ProQuest is boosting the visibility of e-books in library collections by providing for the full text of an additional 400,000 e-books to be discovered and accessed as part of a broad search of library holdings.
Read More

ProQuest Press Team

Beth Dempsey
Public Relations Manager
(734) 707-2665