Argentine Dirty War officers sent to prison

July 10, 2010

Former Argentine dictator Jorge Videla (L) and former army commander Luciano Menendez, sit in a courthouse where they were summoned to testify before a judge in Cordoba July 2, 2010. Videla, Menedez and others 23 people were called for a court to declare on charges of rights abuse and tortures at an illegal detention centre in that province between April and October 1976 against political dissidents and other suspects that caused thousands death in the late seventies. Mariano Paiz/Reuters

A victory against impunity in Argentina. Almudena Calatrava reports for the AP:

Some of the most notorious figures of Argentina’s “dirty war” were convicted Thursday of kidnapping, torturing and murdering 22 people at the beginning of the 1976-1983 military dictatorship when the country cracked down on leftist dissent. Family members of the victims cheered and hugged as a judge handed down the sentences for Gen. Luciano Menéndez and former police intelligence chief Roberto Albornoz: life in prison for crimes against humanity committed at a secret detention center in provincial Tucumán.

More here, and here (in Spanish). Meanwhile, a prominent Spanish historian has expressed skepticism over Spain’s Law of Historical Memory and warns against an “Argentinization” of Spain’s way of engaging with the past.