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Uruguay: Former General Convicted for Murder During Dictatorship

By George Nelson | The Argentina Independent | May 10, 2013

A former general in the Uruguayan army, Miguel Dalmao, has been found guilty of a murder dating back to 1974, when the country was under military rule.

Dalmao was sentenced yesterday to 28 years in prison by the Uruguayan Supreme Court of Justice in what has been celebrated as a victory by human rights advocates and former political prisoners in the country.

The 61-year-old has been imprisoned since 2010 while the case was being processed. His victim was an imprisoned communist militant Nibia Sabalsagaray, aged 25, who was also a professor of literature. The court heard that her death was the result of torture carried out by Dalmao.

The case has suffered delays due to a heart condition suffered by Dalmoa, who is currently receiving treatment in hospital.

Baldemar Taroco, Vice President of the Association of Ex Political Prisoners of Uruguay, said, “Violations of basic rights took place during the dictatorship. Dalmao committed crimes against humanity.”

Taroco also described the sentence as a “victory against state terrorism” and said that if these types of crimes are not punished then the country runs the risk of seeing them repeated.

An expiry law, which has prevented many crimes during the dictatorship from being brought to justice, “remains a wall” against more than 100 allegations of “murder, disappearance, and rape”, added Taroco.

Miguel Langón, Dalmao’s counsel, said that he hoped for the acquittal of the former dictator after reportedly submitting an appeal. “I hope the Court of Appeal corrects this mistake, there is a high possibility that Sabalsagaray committed suicide. It is clear the killing has not been proven,” he told local press outside the court.

The Ministry of Defence has not commented on the ruling, nor have any military officials, many of whom are ex-soldiers who served during the time of the dictatorship.

May 10, 2013 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , ,

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