More than 100 prominent Argentines, including clergy, politicians and labor leaders, appealed for "an open and sincere dialogue" between the military government and the people on the disappearance of thousands of persons over the last three years.
The appeal was drawn up by the Permanent Assembly for Human Rights, one of three groups whose offices were raided in the last week by police under a judge's order. The statement did not mention the raids but clearly was a response to them.
The interior Minister, Gen. Albano Harguindeguy, termed the raids "legitimate and inevitable." Commenting on State Department spokesman Tom Reston's expressed "surprise" at the raids and call for Argentine not to interfere further with the visit next month of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Harguindeguy added, "Mr. Reston twists the facts. He is interferring in subjects that do not concern his country."
Meanwhile, Agence France-Presse reported that Argentine prosecutors have reopened the case of the 1974 assassination of exiled Chilean Gen. Carlos Prats in the light of evidence that American Townley was in Buenos Aires at the time of the killing. Townley has been convicted for his role in the Washington assassination of Chilean exile Orlando Letelier.