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28 sentenced to life for Argentine dictatorship crimes

Those convicted yesterday included former general Luciano Menendez, nicknamed ‘The Hyena’ for laughing during torture sessions at the clandestine prison known as La Perla.



Buenos Aires: An Argentine court has sentenced 28 people to life in prison for torturing and killing opponents of the country's 1976-1983 military regime at a secret detention centre.

Those convicted yesterday included former general Luciano Menendez, nicknamed ‘The Hyena’ for laughing during torture sessions at the clandestine prison known as La Perla.

Menendez, 89, was already serving 11 life sentences for human rights abuses committed at the infamous facility in the central province of Cordoba.

In the latest trial, he was convicted of 52 homicides, 260 kidnappings, 656 cases of torture and 82 disappearances of detainees who were never found.

In all, he and his co-accused were charged with kidnapping, torturing, killing or stealing the newborn babies of more than 700 victims, 279 of whom are still officially missing.

Ten other defendants were sentenced to between two and a half and 21 years.

Menendez showed no remorse during the trial, telling the court there was "never repression of any kind" at the detention center.

"These criminals accuse the armed forces and go to the courts saying they're victims," he said.

Some 600 people testified in the landmark case, which opened in 2012.

An estimated 30,000 regime opponents or suspected sympathizers were killed or "disappeared" during the dictatorship. 

From Zee News

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