Life sentences for Argentine military; Uruguay may repeal amnesty law

October 26, 2011

Good news for the fight against impunity in the Southern Cone: “An Argentine court sentenced 12 former military and police officials to life in prison on Wednesday for crimes against humanity committed during the country’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship,” the Associated Press reports today:

Among those sentenced to life in the landmark ruling was Alfredo Astiz, a 59-year-old former navy spy nicknamed “the Angel of Death.” Astiz is accused of participating in the disappearance, torture and murder of two French nuns, a journalist and three founders of a human rights group that he infiltrated while spying for the dictatorship. The crimes, which included 86 cases of kidnapping, torture and murder against leftist dissidents, were committed inside the Navy Mechanics School, one of the military junta’s principal torture centers used to crush the threat of armed revolution. About 5,000 detainees passed through the school. Fewer than half survived.

Meanwhile, the Uruguayan parliament is poised for a vote on Wednesday to revoke an amnesty law that protected officials who served during the dictatorship from human rights prosecutions. More here.