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Zelmar Michelini (Montevideomarker, May 20, 1924 - Buenos Airesmarker, May 20, 1976) was a Uruguayan reporter and politician, murdered in Buenos Aires in 1976 in the frame of Operation Condor.

Zelmar Michelini was member of the Chamber of Deputies from 1954 to 1958, and then of the Chamber of Senators starting in 1966. he was Minister of the Industry under Óscar Gestido's presidency (Colorado Party), before renouncing in 1970 because of disagreements with the government's policies. At that time he left the conservative Colorado party to become a member of the Christian Democrat party of Uruguay. Alongside other left-wing parties (Communist and Socialist Party and others independent left-wing groups), he participated in the foundation of the Frente Amplio coalition ("Broad Front") in 1971.

Reporter in the newspaper Acción, he also founded in the 1960s the weekly Hechos. Zelmar Michelini became again senator in 1971, as a member of the Frente Amplio. However, he had to exiled himself to Buenos Aires after the 1973 coup d'État, and started denouncing the human rights violations committed by Juan María Bordaberry's dictatorship.

Michelini, 52, was found dead the day after his birthday, on May 21, 1976, at 9:20 p.m. in a red Torino sedan that had been abandoned at the corner of Perito Moreno and Dellepiane in Buenos Aires. Also found in the automobile were the bodies of the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of Uruguay, Héctor Gutiérrez, 51, who had been living in exile in Buenos Aires since the June 27, 1973, military coup in his country, and of Tupamaros militants William Whitelaw, 29, and Rosario del Carmen Barredo, 26, both also Uruguayans and living in Buenos Aires since the military coup in Chile of September 11, 1973. All of them, abducted May 18, 1976 in Buenos Aires by a paramilitary group, had been tortured and shot; they had their hands and feet bound. Also kidnapped was Benjamín Liberof, 55, a Communist doctor born in Argentina and a naturalized Uruguayan, whose whereabouts remain unknown.

Judge Roberto Timbal put under preventive detention former dictator Bordaberry and former Chancellor Juan Carlos Blanco on November 16, 2006, for being the organizers of these murders. Uruguayan police officer Hugo Campos has also been suspected of being responsible of this assassination .



  1. A los 73 años murió el inspector mayor (r) Hugo Campos Hermida

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