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News > Latin America

Argentina: 6 Police Officials Convicted of Torturing Activists

  • Members of La Garganta Poderosa and supporters celebrate conviction of six Argentinean police chiefs.

    Members of La Garganta Poderosa and supporters celebrate conviction of six Argentinean police chiefs. | Photo: La Garganta Poderosa / Facebook

Published 22 September 2018

The police chiefs convicted include, Leandro Antunez, Osvaldo Ertel, Orlando Benítez, Ramon Falcon, Eduardo Sandoval and Yamil Marsilli.

The 9th Oral Criminal and Correctional Court of Argentina has found six police officials guilty of torturing Ivan Navarro and Ezequiel Villanueva Moya, members of the social activist group the Garganta Poderosa, in September 2016.

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Leandro Antúnez, Osvaldo Ertel and Orlando Benítez have been sentenced to 10 years and six months. While Ramon Falcon and Eduardo Sandoval were sentenced to eight years and 11 months. Another accused, Yamil Marsilli, was sentenced to eight years and eight months.

The officials were also convicted of crimes of deprivation of liberty, minor injuries, and robbery against the youths who were, at the time of the incident 15 and 18 years old. The court also ruled that none of the convicted could ever return to public office.

"Cases like ours happen in the neighborhood. Hopefully, our case will help the security forces to calm down and other kids will be encouraged to denounce" acts of torture and abuse, Navarro said prior to the court ruling. Garganta Poderosa activists also chanted resistance slogans as they stood outside the entrance to the courtroom. Navarro stood in the center of the group waving a flag with the words "Popular Control."

Villanueva Moya and Navarro both said that they, and their families, were pleased with the court ruling and that justice had been served.

On September 24, 2016, both youths were detained by members of the Argentine Naval Prefecture and charged with a misdemeanor. After being beaten, they were subjected to a mock shooting on the banks of the Riachuelo, according to Nodal.

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