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Defiant Army Officer Sacked in Argentina

September 29, 1987|United Press International

BUENOS AIRES — Army Chief of Staff Jose D. Caridi faced down a threatened rebellion Monday by an infantry regiment outside of Buenos Aires, sacked a dissident officer and ordered an investigation into insubordination by officers opposing senior commanders.

The dissident officer, Lt. Col. Dario Fernandez Maguer, surrendered quietly to Caridi and left the 3rd Infantry Regiment in La Tablada, a suburb of Buenos Aires.

Talking to reporters before his departure, Fernandez said he is now "an ex-regimental commander." He said he will obey orders to present himself to the army chief of staff for reassignment, and he denied that regimental officers had defied superiors Sunday night by confining themselves to quarters, as some of the military dissidents had told reporters.

The army issued a brief communique Monday afternoon saying that Fernandez had been replaced by Lt. Col. Gustavo Gonzalez Sas as head of the 3rd Regiment.

Caridi acted in the affair after hearing reports that officers were confining themselves to quarters and refusing orders. Dissident officers gave interviews, printed in major newspapers here, saying that they were defying an order from the chief of staff requiring the transfer of Fernandez.

The dissident officers attributed Fernandez's demotion to his sympathy with an officers' rebellion, known as the Easter crisis, in April, and they said that Caridi, by transferring Fernandez, violated a pledge that he would not punish officers' who supported the Easter affair, except for its ringleader, Lt. Col. Aldo Rico.

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