Jorge Alberto Silveira Quesada was born on 20 September 1945 in Uruguay. He joined the Army in 1965 and began to serve in the Infantry. In 1968, he enrolled at the School of the Americas to study for a Special Cadet Course. In 1971, he joined the Artillery Group No. 1, based at La Paloma, as First Lieutenant. He was promoted to Captain in 1976, acting as Commander in the Coordinating Agency of Counterinsurgency Operations (OCOA) in the “300 Carlos” and “Hell” operations. Despite the many complaints against him, he later became a Parliamentary official and continued his military career until his retirement as a Colonel in 2000.
The Guerra Sucia (“Dirty War”) is a term used to describe a period of state-sponsored violence in Argentina between 1976 and 1983. The Argentinean military regime under Jorge Rafael Videla’s dictatorship resolved to eradicate what the Junta called “subversive thoughts”, as well as “terrorists”, namely “anyone who disseminated ideas contrary to Western Christian civilization”. Victims of the violence included several thousand left-wing activists, students, journalists, Marxist and Peronist guerrillas and sympathizers. During the years that followed, it is believed that the military played a major role in the murder and forced disappearance of between 10,000 and 30,000 people. In addition, some 500,000 opponents of the regime found themselves forced into exile to escape from its repression.
State terrorism was carried out primarily as a part of Operation Condor, a network of secret services of the military dictatorships of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil with the purpose of eliminating the political opponents of the different regimes, exiled in their territories. In particular, victims included militants of the Movement of National Liberation, the Party for People’s Victory, and the Communist Party, especially the Communist Youth Union. In 1986, Uruguay returned to a democracy. The same year, an Amnesty Law (Ley de Caducidad) was passed under President Julio Maria Sanguinetti, bringing an end to the prosecution of soldiers and police involved in human rights violations during the dictatorship.
During his time in the Army, Silveira served in all major centres of torture: the “Infierno Grande” (Argentina) of the 13th Infantry Battalion, the “Tablada“ that replaced it from 1977, the Defense Information Service, “Automotive Orletti” in Buenos Aires, and the women’s concentration camp known as “Punta Rails” in Uruguay, officially called Military Detention Establishment No. 2 (EMR2), where he was Chief Warden.
On 19 June 2002, with the help of the Center of Legal and Social Studies, the families of Juan Gelman and María Claudia García brought a complaint against Silveira and six other militaries for the disappearance of Maria Claudia Garcia Iruretagoyena de Gelman.