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Argentina: Three Ex Military Sentenced For Crimes Against Humanity in Jujuy

By Denis Culum | The Argentina Independent | May 4, 2013

Three former military officials during the 1976-83 dictatorship were found guilty of crimes against humanity yesterday in the first trial for such crimes in the northwestern province of Jujuy.

The Federal Court of Jujuy (TOF) sentenced two former military officials, Mariano Rafael Braga and José Eduardo Bulgheroni, to life imprisonment. Meanwhile, the third defendant Antonio Orlando Vargas received a sentence of 25 years in prison, according to the Judicial Information Center (CIJ).

The Court found the first two defendants guilty of numerous murders and the third one of illegal deprivation of freedom and aggravated torture in several cases. The heads of trial were judges René Vicente Casas and Marcelo Juárez Almaraz. Before reading the decisive part of the judgment, TOF rejected all the arguments presented by the defendants and considered the facts of the case as “crimes against humanity” and therefore impossible to fall under statute of limitations.

Human rights organisations, relatives and witnesses, were satisfied with the verdict – both in and out of the courtroom. After waiting for 35 years, some 30,000 people gathered around the Court House to celebrate a day of justice with hugs and tears.

Braga will be transferred to the Marcos Paz prison to serve his sentence, Vargas will stay in Ezeiza. Bulgheroni, for health reasons, will go to Prison Unit 7 in the city of Resistencia, Chaco.

Braga and Bulgheroni were military intelligence officers during the military dictatorship, and Vargas worked as a supervisor in the Jujuy Prison, which at the time was serving as a clandestine detention centre.

An estimated 130 people were disappeared in Jujuy during the dictatorship. Alongside this trial, the Ledesma case – investigating the kidnapping of workers at a sugar company based in Jujuy – is looking into civilian involvement in the disappearances.

May 4, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Argentina: Three Ex Military Sentenced For Crimes Against Humanity in Jujuy