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La Noche de los Bastones Largos

La Noche de los Bastones Largos ("The Night of the Long Police Batons") was the violent dislodge of five faculties of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) in Argentina on July 29, 1966 by the Federal Police. The faculties had been taken by the students, professors and graduates (members of the autonomous government of the university) who opposed the military government's measure of intervening the universities and revoke the regime of the 1918 university reform.


On June 28, 1966, a coup led by General Juan Carlos Ongania had overthrown elected president Arturo Illia and started the military government known as the Revolucion Argentina.

The Argentine public universities were by then organised as dictated by the university reform, which established the autonomy of the university, and a political power divided in a tripartite government of students, professors and graduates.

The repression was particularly violent in the faculties of Exact and Natural Sciences and Philosophy and Literature of the UBA.

The name given to the events refers to the long batons used by the police to hit students, professors and graduates while taking them out detained of the buildings. 400 people were detained, with laboratories and libraries completely destroyed.


In the following months hundreds of professors were fired, resigned to their positions or abandoned the country.

In total, 301 university professors emigrated, of which 215 were scientists, and 166 found their place in other Latin American universities, mainly in Chile and Venezuela. 94 went to universities of United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, and 41 moved to Europe.

In some cases, complete research teams were dismantled as in the Instituto de Calculo de Ciencias Exactas, where the first computer in Latin America was functioning, of which all its 70 members resigned and left the country. Similar cases were those of the Instituto de Psicologia Evolutiva and the Instituto de Radiacion Cosmica.

Some of the best known affected professors were:

Sergio Bagu, historian and sociologist, one of the pioneers of the Theory of dependence. Exiled

Manuel Sadosky, pioneer of Computer Science in the country. Exiled

Gregorio Klimovsky, epistemology; one of the most important figures in logical mathematics and science philosophy in the country.

Pablo Miguel Jacovkis, mathematician, dean of the FCEyN, president of the CONICET (1999~2000).

Rolando Garcia, meteorology, worked with Jean Piaget. Exiled.

Felix Gonzalez Bonorino, most important geology scientist of the country.

Tulio Halperin Donghi, among Latin America's most renowned historians.

Risieri Frondizi, philosopher and ex-dean of the UBA.

Juan Roederer, astronomer in charge of the Instituto de Radiacion Cosmica.

Catherine Gattegno de Cesarsky, world-wide known astronomer, since 2006 president of the International Astronomical Union.

Telma Reca, psychologist, director of the Instituto de Psicologia Evolutiva, fired.

Mariana Weissmann, atomic physician, receiver of the L'Oreal-Unesco award 2003, and first woman incorporated to the Academia Argentina de Ciencias Exactas, Fisicas y Naturales. Exiled

Dismantling of the reformist university

With the intervention of the military government to the universities, a strict censorship was applied to the contents of the programs, and the scientific project of tight relationship between education and investigation in the universities.

The act of the military government is considered a central reference of the cultural and academic decadence, and the brain drain in Argentina.

Recognition and memory

In 2004 film director Tristan Bauer presented his film ''La noche de los bastones largos: el futuro intervenido', based in the events of July 29, 1966.

In July 2005 the Federacion Universitaria Argentina delivered recognition diplomas to the 70 professors that resigned in 1966 to their positions at the Faculty of Agronomy of the University of Buenos Aires


Morero, Sergio; Ariel Eidelman, Ariel; y Lichtman, Guido. La noche de los bastones largos, 2a ed. Buenos Aires : Nuevohacer, grupo Editor Latinoamericana, c2002. 186 p. ; 22 cm. Coleccion Temas. ISBN 950-694-684-1; F2849.2 .M663 2002

See Also

University Revolution

List of universities in Argentina

External links

Police repression at the Universidad de Buenos Aires - University of Toronto

Events - Ortiba.org (in Spanish)

La ciencia corrida - Clarin (in Spanish)*

La Noche de los Bastones Largos, the 30 anniversary book

La noche de los bastones largos

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