Showing posts with label War Criminal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label War Criminal. Show all posts

May 17, 2013

Architect of Argentina’s The Dirty War Vs. Children and Young Men is Dead

 Former military chaplain Julio Von Wernich, left, arrives to a courthouse in La Plata, south of Buenos Aires, Monday, Oct. 8, 2007.  Von Wernich is the first Roman Catholic cleric to be prosecuted on charges of complicity in deaths and disappearances during Argentina's 1976-83 military dictatorship. The verdict is expected Tuesday. (AP Photo/Carlos Carmelle,Telam)
Former military chaplain Priest Julio Von Wernich, left, arrives to a courthouse in La Plata, south of Buenos Aires, Monday, Oct. 8, 2007. Von Wernich is the first Roman Catholic cleric to be prosecuted on charges of complicity in deaths and disappearances during Argentina's 1976-83 military dictatorship.. (AP Photo/Carlos Carmelle,Telam)


A court in Buenos Aires sentenced Videla to 50 years in prison, while another ex-military leader, Reynaldo Bignone, received 15 years for his alleged role in the crime.
Jorge Videla in the courtroom, left, and in an undated file photograph
In an interview with an Argentine journalist last year, Videla said the crackdown he oversaw was the price Argentina had to pay in order to remain a republic.
"War, by nature, is cruel," he said. "An internal war, between brothers, is especially cruel."
 Jose Miguel Vivanco, director of Latin America for US-based Human Rights Watch, said Videla presided over one of the region's cruellest repressions in modern times.
"He was arrogant to the end and unwilling to acknowledge his responsibility for the massive atrocities committed in Argentina," he said.
"Many of the secrets of the repression will die with him."
Argentina's Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel told Reuters news agency: "Death has brought an end to his physical existence but not what he did against the people.” 

  • 1976: Military junta under General Jorge Videla seizes power - thousands of political opponents are rounded up and killed in what becomes known as "the dirty war"
  • 1982: Videla's successor, General Leopoldo Galtieri, orders invasion of British-held Falkland Islands - more than 700 Argentine soldiers killed in its unsuccessful defence
  • 1983: Civilian rule returns to Argentina, and investigations into human rights abuses begin
  • 2010: Videla is sentenced to life imprisonmentfor murders during his term in office
  • 2012: Videla sentenced to 50 years for overseeing systematic theft of the babies of political prisoners
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  • "The dictator is dead" is the most repeated headline on Argentine TV and radio news. Jorge Videla was no regular ruler. He was the most prominent figure of the years of the junta, one of the darkest episodes of Argentine history.
    He is considered the ideologist of the Dirty War, a cruel civic-military state plan to silence left-wing opposition in the country during the 1970s and 80s. Up to 30,000 activists were tortured and murdered under military rule.
    Some of the practices against the opponents of the junta included the kidnapping of the children of activists and throwing tortured militants from helicopters into the River Plate so their bodies would never be found.
    Many Argentines on social networks point out that, unlike some other military rulers of the region, Videla died in prison, serving a life sentence for his crimes.

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