Time Expiring for Latin America's Dirty War Prosecutions





Latin America is finally owning up to its "dirty wars" -- the nightmarish campaigns of state-sponsored violence in which hundreds of thousands died or "disappeared." But the death of Chile's Gen. Augusto Pinochet shows the continent's leftist leaders of today must act fast to expose the truth while the masterminds of this savagery are still alive.

Momentum is growing behind new human rights investigations in Chile and other countries where dictators ruled with impunity. Prosecutors are dusting off cases of abduction and torture, digging up mass graves and using DNA to identify the victims.

In Chile, Uruguay and Argentina, judges are finding ways around the amnesty laws that long protected the perpetrators. In Brazil and Mexico, democratically elected presidents have finally opened up long-secret files to provide evidence against those responsible.

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