Argentina’s Dictatorship Stands Trial





LA PLATA, Argentina, Aug. 14 — The horrific events under a military dictatorship — murders, kidnappings, torture, rapes, the abduction and sale of infants — had gone unpunished for nearly 30 years. But last year Argentina’s Supreme Court overturned a pair of amnesty laws, and now the trials of military and police officials accused of human rights violations are finally under way.

In late June, the first trial, involving a police commissioner general named Miguel Etchecolatz, began here in the capital of Buenos Aires Province, less than an hour’s drive from the capital. With cameras rolling and winter light streaming through stained-glass windows in a belle époque ballroom at City Hall, witness after witness has told how Mr. Etchecolatz and the forces under his command ordered, supervised and then covered up kidnappings and torture sessions.



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Flor Mechain - 8/23/2006

It might be interesting to know that the possibility of judging these criminals appeared as the laws of forgiveness issued under Pt Carlos Menem, "ley de obediencia debida" (due obedience law) and "ley de punto final" (period law) were repealed recently.