I was born and raised in Argentina, and the Buenos Aires Herald was an indelible part of my upbringing. Delivered to our home daily, my parents encouraged me to read the Herald as a way to improve my English skills.
Despite being an avid reader of the small newspaper, the story of Robert J. Cox was one I never read.
Until now. In a book published late last year titled "Dirty Secrets, Dirty War," David Cox tells the story of his father and a fight for human rights at a time and place when those values could result in kidnapping and death.
At times, the son's loyalty and admiration can appear to obfuscate his objectivity. But that might be understandable, given the extreme circumstances.
The murders and disappearances of thousands of innocent people during the military dictatorship in Argentina during the late 1970s did not go entirely unreported in the local press.
At least not while Robert J. Cox was the editor of the Buenos Aires Herald, the only English-language newspaper in the country.
David Cox, who was a child during this dark period of Argentine history, tells the story of his father's efforts to help save innocent people through his reporting.
As a young reporter in the late 1950s, Robert Cox jumped at the opportunity to work for the daily and left his native England for the South American nation. Cox developed a successful career and eventually became the Herald's editor.
As a result of the 1976 coup d'etat, local media outlets began omitting coverage of what was happening to the nation and to its desaparecidos, or people who were arrested because of their political affiliations and never seen or heard from again.
Cox was one of a handful of journalists who risked their lives and those of their families to report the truth. The Herald was known as the newspaper that would publish in English what the other papers did not dare mention in Spanish.
Cox reported disappearances and murders despite what was at stake in his personal life. For thousands of Argentinians with missing loved ones, Cox became a light of hope in a dark tunnel of human-rights atrocities.
Lines of desperate people waited outside the Herald's offices for a chance to share their stories and information on the missing with Cox, who in turn would publish the names and circumstances under which each person went missing.
Cox reported the truth about the barbarities committed by the military junta until he was left with no other option but to seek exile in the United States.
David Cox provides an intimate look at his father's courageous fight for truth and justice against a system responsible for the disappearances of more than 30,000 Argentinians.