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Uruguay indicts 8 for Operation Condor disappearances

[JURIST] Eight former police and military officers have been indicted by a Uruguayan court on counts of kidnapping and conspiracy committed during Uruguay's military dictatorship of 1973-85 [LOC backgrounder]. The crimes relate to the 1976 disappearances of five members of an Uruguayan leftist group who fled to Argentina and were detained there by police. Investigators suspect that the men were victims of Operation Condor [BBC report], a co-ordinated effort by South American dictators to dispose of "subversive" groups during the 1970s. Last week, Supreme Court of Uruguay denied a defense motion to dismiss the case on constitutional grounds.

Eight of the original ten indictees remain in a capital prison; one has fled and another committed suicide. A 1986 amnesty law [text] and individual pardons have prevented these offenses from being brought to trial in the past. Two of the men currently being charged had their pardons overturned as unconstitutional [opinion, in Spanish] in July. The process mirrors a similar struggle in Argentina [JURIST news archive], which has recently brought suspects to trial for crimes committed during its own dictatorship. Mercopress has more. El Pais of Montevideo has local coverage.

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