[JURIST] Former Uruguay military dictator and army chief Gregorio Alvarez [Wikipedia backgrounder] was charged Monday with crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the country's 1973-85 period of military rule [LOC backgrounder] and specifically for his alleged role in the secret transfers of several political prisoners in 1978, who disappeared and are presumed dead. He faces up to 25 years in prison if found guilty. Alvarez has denied any involvement in the disappearances, as well as any knowledge of Operation Condor [BBC report], a co-ordinated effort by South American dictators to dispose of members of "subversive" groups during the 1970s.
Last year, eight former Uruguay police and military officers were indicted [JURIST report] on counts of kidnapping and conspiracy related to the 1976 disappearances of five members of a Uruguayan leftist group who fled to Argentina and were detained by police. A 1986 amnesty law [text] and individual pardons have prevented suspects from being brought to trial in the past. The current process in Uruguay mirrors a similar struggle in Argentina [JURIST news archive], which has recently brought suspects to trial for crimes committed during its own military dictatorship. AFP has more.