Argentine Dictators Go On Trial For Baby Thefts
By Michael Warren | HuffingtonPost.com
A long-awaited trial began Monday for two former Argentine dictators who allegedly oversaw a systematic plan to steal babies born to political prisoners three decades ago.
Jorge Videla and Reynaldo Bignone are accused in 34 cases of infants who were taken from mothers held in Argentina’s largest clandestine torture and detention centers, the Navy Mechanics School in Buenos Aires and the Campo de Mayo army base northwest of the city.
Also on trial are five military figures and a doctor who attended to the detainees.
The case was opened 14 years ago at the request of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, a leading human rights group. It may take up to a year to hear testimony from about 370 witnesses.
Videla, 85, has been sentenced to life in prison, and Bignone, 83, is serving a 25-year term for other crimes committed during the 1976-1983 dictatorship, but this is the first trial focused on the alleged plan to steal as many as 400 infants from leftists who were kidnapped, tortured and made to disappear during the junta’s crackdown on political dissent.
There are 13,000 people on the official list of those killed, although rights groups estimate as many as 30,000 died.
The dictatorship generally drew the line at killing children, but the existence of babies belonging to people who officially no longer existed created a problem for the junta leaders. The indictment alleges they solved it by falsifying paperwork and arranging illegal adoptions by people sympathetic to the military regime.
Some 500 women were known to be pregnant before they disappeared, according to formal complaints from their families or other official witness accounts. To date, 102 people born to vanished dissidents have since recovered their true identities with the aid of the Grandmothers, which helped create a national database of DNA evidence to match children with their birth families.
The stolen grandchildren of Estela de Carlotto, co-founder of the Grandmothers, and poet Juan Gelman are among the cases cited in this trial.
Rights activists are hoping for long sentences for Videla, who led the first military junta after the 1976 coup, and Bignone, who ran the Campo de Mayo center and then served as Argentina’s last military president before the return of democracy in 1983.
Also on trial are Jorge Luis Magnacco, a doctor who worked in the navy detention center, and five prominent dictatorship figures: Antonio Vanek, the junta’s former navy attache in Washington; Jorge "Tigre" Acosta, who allegedly ran the navy center’s torture sessions; former army Gen. Santiago Riveros, responsible for gathering intelligence from detainees at Campo de Mayo; former admiral Ruben Franco; and former prefect Juan Antonio Azic, who allegedly tortured detainees under Acosta’s direction.
The defendants, all now old and gray-haired, were led in handcuffs into the courtroom as a three-judge panel opened the trial. Photographers and cameramen were briefly allowed in. After a short time, Videla began to nod off as the clerk read aloud several lengthy indictments.
Ending impunity for human rights violations committed by the dictatorship is a top priority for President Cristina Fernandez, whose center-left government includes many people who fought the military regime in one way or another.
After years of preparation following the reversal of amnesties by Argentina’s congress and Supreme Court, more than 20 cases have reached trial.
The defendants did not speak Monday, but they and their supporters have dismissed the entire process as an act of revenge by the leftist ideologues they defeated decades ago, and they deny there was any plan to steal babies.
Leonardo Fossati’s mother was three months pregnant when she was kidnapped in 1977 and she gave birth to him in police custody before vanishing.
Fossati rediscovered his birth family in 2005 with help from the Grandmothers, and he is a plaintiff in the case.
"This trial is necessary to set things straight," he said. "For a long time now, they have denied there was a systematic plan to steal babies."
Article from: huffingtonpost.com
Sculpture at the ESMA’s fence in memory of the disappeared mothers and the babies they had in that clandestine center during the last dictatorship (1976-1983). The names written on the pregnant woman image are those of the babies who were born there.Wikipedia
Also tune into:
Peter Levenda - Secret Space Program & NASA’s Nazis
Peter Levenda - South American Nazis, Operation Condor & NASAs Space Program
Peter Levenda - Sinister Forces
Pierre Sabak - Priesthood of the Nazarenes, The Nazis & Zionists
Aaron Kaplan - Operation Highjump, The Secret Diary of Admiral Byrd & The Nephilim Agenda
What’s up in Washington DC? - Conspiracy of Silence & The Franklin Cover-Up (Video)
Israel sold weapons to Myanmar Junta, then lies about the sales
Latest News from our Front Page
Aurora Shooting Victim Parents Face $200K Court Fees, Bankruptcy, After Failing to Sue Ammo Dealers
The 2012 Colorado Theater Shooting still doesn’t add up…
Media character and ‘Shooter’ James Holmes in court in 2012-2013.
In 2014, Sandy and Lonnie Phillips, the mother and stepfather of Aurora Theater Shooting victim Jessica Redfield Ghawi, tried to sue the ammo companies they believe supplied shooter James Holmes with his ammunition, body armor and other items. They bleived that the online retailer BulkAmmo.com had sold Holmes ...
FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force Investigating Confederate Flags at MLK's Ebenezer Baptist Church
According to the Atlanta Police Department, two White men left four small Confederate Battle Flags outside MLK’s Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta … and get this, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is on the scene investigating the incident.
Atlanta police Chief George Turner said his agency was working with federal authorities and they have not determined what charges might be ...
Democratic National Committee Chair Wasserman Schultz Canâ€™t Explain Difference Between Democrat Party and Socialism
Things got very awkward today when Chris Matthews asked DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz what the difference was between the modern Democratic Party and Socialism.
We havenâ€™t seen that dazed look since Rachel Dolezal was busted as a fraud.
Wasserman Schultz was speechless.
Then changed the subject.
Because we all know there is no difference between todayâ€™s Democrat Party and the radical ...
Catching on slow: Yet Another Study Show Cellphone Radiation Cause Cancer
The scientists were right — your cell phone can give you cancer.
There have long been whispers of a cancer connection from your cell — and a new study backs up the claims.
"These data are a clear sign of the real risks this kind of radiation poses for human health," study author Igor Yakymenko said.
Yakymenko’s meta-study — basically a study of ...
Trump Goes #Cuckservative on Immigration
For weeks, the media have trumpeted the supposed death of the Trump campaign. First, they claimed, Trump’s campaign imploded on launch thanks to his comments about illegal immigration. Then they claimed that Trump was finished because of his slap at Senator’s (R-AZ) war service. But neither of those comments alienated Trump’s base – he’s maintained his seven point lead over ...
|More News » |