Dictionary of Irish Latin American Biography

Rodolfo Walsh (1927-1977)
(Página 12, 27 October 2005)

Walsh, Rodolfo Jorge (1927-1977), journalist and novelist, was born in Choele-Choel, province of Río Negro, the third son of Miguel Esteban Walsh (1894-1947) and his wife, Dora Gill. Miguel Esteban Walsh was the second son of Miguel Walsh (1866-1910) and Catalina Dillon. Rodolfo Walsh's brother Carlos Walsh was a navy officer, and his sister Patricia was a Catholic nun.

In his early age, Rodolfo Walsh was sent to the Irish school in Capilla del Señor and then to the Fahy Institute in Moreno. Walsh started his career as a journalist. From 1959 to 1961 he worked for the agency Prensa Latina in Cuba. Back in Buenos Aires, he wrote for Panorama, La Opinión and Confirmado. His political activity led him to the hard-line Montoneros group, where he acted as intelligence officer. Walsh played a key role in the bombing of the cafeteria at the police headquarters in 2 July 1976. "On the first anniversary of Jorge Rafael Videla’s dictatorship, 24 March 1977, he committed the unforgivable crime of accusing the dictatorship in an open letter [...] considered by Gabriel García Márquez 'one of the jewels of universal literature'. But 'the day after Walsh decried these atrocities', wrote US historian, Donald C. Hodges, 'three army tanks demolished his home in the capital’s suburb of San Vicente and disappeared him as well'. He was murdered in broad daylight in downtown Buenos Aires by a military death squad whose instructions were to capture him alive, but had to kill him when he pulled a gun to return their fire. His dead body was dumped into the boot of a car, taken to the notorious Navy Mechanics’ School (ESMA), gloated over, desecrated and never seen again" (Geraghty 2002).

Rodolfo Walsh pioneered the investigative journalism in Argentina. In Operación Masacre, the account of a summary execution of thirty-four Peronists, Walsh combined detective suspense with non-fiction narrative techniques. Among his published works are Diez cuentos policiales (1953), Cuentos para tahúres, Variaciones en rojo (1953), Antología del cuento extraño (1956), Operación Masacre (1957), Secuencia Final, the plays La granada and La batalla (1965), Los oficios terrestres (1965), Un kilo de oro (1967), ¿Quién mató a Rosendo? (1969), Un oscuro día de justicia (1973), and El caso Satanovsky (1973).

Edmundo Murray


- Coghlan, Eduardo A., Los Irlandeses en Argentina: su Actuación y Descendencia (Buenos Aires, 1987), p. 884.

- Delaney, Juan José, Rudy Walsh en Capilla y en Moreno in "The Southern Cross" (Buenos Aires), 129:5894 (November 2004), p. 16.

- Geraghty, Michael John, Rodolfo Walsh: An Argentine Irishman in "Buenos Aires Herald", 29 March 2002.

- McCaughan, Michael, True Crimes: Rodolfo Walsh, the life and times of a radical intellectual (London: Latin America Bureau, 2002).

- Página 12 (Buenos Aires), 27 October 2005.

Copyright © Society for Irish Latin American Studies

Online published: 1 April 2004
Edited: 07 May 2009

Murray, Edmundo, 'Walsh, Rodolfo
(1927-1977)' in "Irish Migration Studies in Latin America" November-December 2005 (


The Society for Irish Latin American Studies, 2005

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