Friday, July 09, 2010


Argentine "Dirty War" General and Intelligence Chief Get Life Sentence
By Almudena Calatrava
Associated Press dispatch in The Globe and Mail, July 8, 2010
"Some of the most notorious figures of Argentina's 'dirty war' were convicted Thursday of kidnapping, torturing and murdering 22 people at the beginning of the 1976-1983 military dictatorship when the country cracked down on leftist dissent. Family members of the victims cheered and hugged as a judge handed down the sentences for Gen. Luciano Menendez and former police intelligence chief Roberto Albornoz: life in prison for crimes against humanity committed at a secret detention center in provincial Tucuman. Two former police officers -- brothers Luis Armando de Candido and Carlos Esteban de Candido -- were sentenced to 18 and 3 years, respectively. Their victims included Diana Oesterheld, who was seven months pregnant when she disappeared. Her mother, Elsa Sanchez, told The Associated Press the sentences gave her a feeling of 'enormous tranquility' after many years of anxiety.
'We didn't have justice for so long,' said Ms. Sanchez, whose husband, political cartoonist Hector Oesterheld, and their other three daughters also were killed. Ms. Sanchez, 85, said the verdict has given her the strength to continue searching for Diana's child. Many pregnant prisoners were killed after giving birth in prison, their babies adopted by people allied with the dictatorship. The Tucuman trial riveted Argentina after a protected witness suddenly presented 259 pages of secret documents he smuggled from the detention center and hid in his floorboards for three decades. The evidence included a list of 293 people detained by Mr. Albornoz, with notations indicating whether they would live or die. [...]"

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