Argentina police arrest third ex-military officer in 1972 massacre

[JURIST] Argentinean police Wednesday arrested retired naval officer Luis Emilio Sosa in Buenos Aires in connection with the August 1972 massacre of 16 leftist guerrillas on a military base in the southern city of Trelew [government website]. Two other former officers, Paccagnini Ruben and Emilio Del Real, were also arrested [JURIST report] over the weekend for their alleged roles in the so-called "Trelew Massacre." All three men face charges of torture, homicide, attempted homicide and illegal detentions. In all, 19 guerrillas were captured after 23 escaped from prison and seized the Trelew airport. Three of the guerillas survived, only to "disappear" during Venezuela's military dictatorship of the late 1970s, while the remaining 16 were found gunned down in their cells. The arrests are part of a larger investigation; federal police are still searching for former Lt. Roberto Guillermo Bravo and Carlos Marandino to charge them in connection with the massacre.

Last week, the trial [JURIST report] of retired Argentinean General Cristino Nicolaides and five other former officers began for their alleged role in the abduction and torture of five political dissidents during the country's military dictatorship of the late 1970s and 80s. It is estimated that between 20,000 and 30,000 people were forcibly kidnapped or "disappeared" during the so-called "Dirty War" [GlobalSecurity backgrounder; JURIST news archive], a 1976-1983 Argentinean government campaign against suspected dissidents. In 2005, Argentina's Supreme Court struck down amnesty laws [JURIST report] adopted in the 1980s, prompting the government to reopen hundreds of human rights cases. AP has more.



 

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