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  • Citizens carry a banner with the photos of those disappeared by the dictatorship, Argentina, 2017.

    Citizens carry a banner with the photos of those disappeared by the dictatorship, Argentina, 2017. | Photo: teleSUR

Published 28 April 2020 (13 hours 23 minutes ago)

The 28 former officers were involved in crimes such as disappearance, torture, and rape.

After a trial that lasted two years, a Mar del Plata court Monday sentenced 28 former military personnel to life in prison for crimes against humanity committed during Argentina's last dictatorship (1976-1983).

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"The sentences were decided unanimously... This is the first trial in which the complete situation was analyzed, that is, the repression committed by the Navy, the Army, the Argentine Naval Prefecture, and the Buenos Aires Police," prosecuting attorney Gloria Leon explained.

The judges' ruling was carried out without public due to the social isolation measures that prevail in the South American country.

The mandatory quarantine prevented the relatives of the victims of the military repression from attending the final hearing in a trial against 40 former military personnel who were accused of 272 crimes, including enforced disappearance, torture, and rape.

"43 years of struggle, ethics, and solidarity. From the elementary school, we have to strengthen the communication of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo story and understand that utopias, dreams, and the search for justice require perseverance and collective action."

All these abuses were perpetrated against students, workers, artists, and mothers who were illegally detained in "Subzone 15", an area of ​​counterinsurgency operations.

Besides the 28 criminals who received the maximum penalty, seven other former soldiers were sentenced to terms of between 7 and 25 years, and five were acquitted.

"These acquittals were expected. We did not have sufficient evidence and we knew we were running that risk," Leon said, adding that "there are other trials related to crimes against humanity that are suspended by the pandemic."

Of the 272 victims of State terrorism, 133 are still missing, 28 bodies were located, and 111 citizens were released after being illegally detained.​​​​​​​

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