U.S. denies visa for German journalist who investigated baby thefts in Argentina

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  • April 14, 2011

By Ingrid Bachmann

Gabriela Weber is a German radio correspondent based in Buenos Aires, who investigated the alleged theft of children by a U.S. diplomat during the Argentine military dictatorship (1976-1983). According to the journalist, the United States has permanently denied her request for an entrance visa, EFE reports.

According to the AFP, the journalist came to Argentina to investigate the illegal adoption of children of disappeared political prisoners during the military dictatorship. Weber wanted to travel to the United States to continue her investigation, as she allegedly has evidence linking diplomatic military attaché William Desreis with the crimes.

The Foreign Correspondents Association of Argentina (ACE ) interceded on Weber’s behalf and called on the U.S. to explain its denial, the Associated Press explains. “The inability to enter the United States is causing serious harm to our member Gabriele Weber’s journalistic research,” complained ACE.

In August 2010, Weber was deported to Buenos Aires seven hours after arriving in Washington with an ESTA visa, which is required for German citizens, the AFP reports. On returning to Argentina, she applied for a journalist visa, but was denied.

Weber told the AP that she thinks U.S. officials do not like what she is investigating. “It seems to me that the Department of State’s attitude is related to my investigations” on human rights violations, she said.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.