x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Tomás Eloy Martínez, 75

The writer was forced to flee Argentine death squads.

Taking lunch in a Buenos Aires restaurant in 1975, the Argentinean writer Tomás Eloy Martínez received the disturbing news that when he stepped outside he would be assassinated. Thinking that if he could not escape death he might as well seek to have the event recorded. Martínez called the newspaper where he worked to request a photographer. The receptionist said: "Why so modest? I'll send them all." As the swarm descended, the would-be assassins dispersed. But Martínez was forced to flee into exile. His publications as a novelist, journalist, essayist and critic, and his reports on Argentine paramilitary death squads brought loyal readers but also unwelcome scrutiny. He fled to America by way of Paris and Venezuela, returning home only once democracy was restored in the 1980s. Born July 16, 1934; died January 31.