Argentina releases 'blacklists' compiled by dictatorship

Argentina on Thursday released blacklists, including writer Julio Cortazar and folk singer Mercedes Sosa, found among a trove of newly discovered documents from the country's 1976 to 1983 military dictatorship.

The list contains the names of 285 artists, actors, journalists and others given the designation "Formula 4" by the junta, according to the country's defense ministry.

The label singled out those seen as unfit for government jobs, state aid or subsidies because of alleged Marxist leanings.

Officials said private businesses also used the government blacklist, which dates back to April 1979.

Cortazar, who died in Paris in 1984, is considered among the best Latin American writers of the 20th century.

The author of "Hopscotch," which was translated into 30 languages, was an active sympathizer of Nicaragua's Sandinista Revolution.

Sosa, who died in 2009 and was one of the most recognizable voices in the region, went into exile in 1979, first in Paris and then Madrid.

Also on the list was Jacobo Timerman, head of the defunct daily La Opinion and father of the country's current foreign minister, Hector Timerman.

The elder Timerman was kidnapped and tortured by the regime and released due to international pressure.

Several journalists, including four who remain missing, were also on the list in addition to painter Antonio Berni, among others.

Another list, updated January 31, 1980, includes 331 names under the most severe classification.

After the March 24, 1976, coup d'etat that brought it to power, Argentina's military junta set up a body tasked with classifying citizens.

On Monday, authorities in Buenos Aires said a cache of documents had been discovered stashed in a basement of the capital's air force headquarters.

Described as the first major find of classified documents from Argentina's so-called Dirty War, the original documents are seen as having "immense historical value," Defense Minister Agustin Rossi told reporters earlier this week.

Some are expected to shed light on the fate of 30,000 opposition activists who disappeared during the dictatorship and are believed to have been murdered.

For three decades now, the families of those who vanished have been pushing the country's military and church to open up their archives as they strive to find out what happened to their loved ones.