The Catholic Church of Argentina and the Vatican will soon open their archives on the South American country’s brutal military dictatorship.
The documents, which cover the period from 1976 to 1983, will be made available once they are fully digitalized and organized, the Argentine Episcopal Conference and the Holy See said in a joint statement, without providing a final date for when that would happen.
The archive includes around 3,000 letters from people seeking assistance from the Catholic Church in their bid to find missing relatives or loved ones – the so-called “disappeared” who were secretly abducted by authorities during the country’s Dirty War, which saw thousands of executions, baby kidnappings and other atrocities.
Pope Francis ordered the partial release of documents that also include the replies of the Church to families, outlining any action taken.
For now, the documents will only be open to victims of the dictatorship and their families, with historians and the press being left out.