[JURIST] A Mendoza court sentenced four former federal judges to life in prison for crimes against humanity carried out during Argentina’s 1976-1983 dictatorship. The judges were originally tried [AP report] as accomplices for failure to investigate [Mendoza Post report, in Spanish] the kidnapping, torture and murder of dissenters. The prosecutors eventually charged the judges as principals arguing that the judges’ “inaction on the petitions preceded the disappearance of more than 20 dissidents.” The sentence has been applauded by several human rights groups, including the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo [advocacy website], which has advocated for civilian perpetrators being brought to justice for their role during the last dictatorship.
Former participants of former dictatorship of South America have been held accountable for their past crimes in the last decade. In August an Argentine court convicted [JURIST report] military officers of human rights violations during the dictatorship. In May 2016 Argentina’s last dictator, Reynaldo Bignone, and other former military officers were sentenced [JURIST report] to prison for their roles in Operation Condor in the 1970s. In February 2016, France’s highest appeals court overtured [JURIST report] a lower court decision to seek the extradition of a former police officer to Argentina for alleged crimes against humanity during the country’s “dirty war.” In 2014, a Buenos Aires court handed [JURIST report] down a 23-year prison sentence to Bignone, the last Argentinian military president of the country’s dictatorship, for the kidnapping and torture of 32 factory workers.