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The historic ruling is the first against executives of a multinational corporation for crimes against humanity. They will serve 10 and 12 years.
The Federal Court of San Marin ruled that ex-directors of the Ford multinational Pedro Müller and Hector Sibila were found guilty in connections with the kidnapping and torture of workers at the plant that the carmaker had in General Pacheco city during the last military dictatorship.
It is the first sentence against directors of a multinational corporation, not as accomplices, but as direct participants in crimes against humanity. They received penalties of 10 and 12 years in prison. A third man Santiago Riveros, of Argentine security agencies was sentenced to 15 years.
The case details collusion between the two businessmen and Argentina's state security forces during the country's military dictatorship (1976-1983), DW reports. According to the prosecution, the men are accused of conspiring against union workers at the Ford factory, providing names, ID numbers, photographs, and home addresses to military officials.
The information provided to Argentine forces resulted in the abduction of 24 employees and union members from the motor company's factory.
Jorge Constanzo, who was 25 years old at the time, was taken within the first few hours of a military coup. “I feel like I'm going back to life, we've waited a long time for this,” Constanzo told El Pais.
All the victims were allegedly subjected to hours of torture, electric shocks and interrogation at the factory's premises, prior to being taken to military prisons.
“They tortured us for more than 11 hours, we went there at 11:30 in the morning and we left at 11 p.m. We were continuously under torture,” said former union activist Carlos Propato, who recalled being kicked, beaten, tied with a wire and thrown in the trunk of a truck.
Despite the atrocities, the two Ford executives will serve their time in house arrest due to old age.