Saturday, 22 November 2008

Argentina: Wanted HR Abuser Kills Himself on TV

This sounds incredible, but it's true. Former police chief Mario Ferreyra, who was about to be apprehended by his own former subordinates as he was wanted on charges of kidnapping and torture during the dictatorship, climbed on top of a water tank on his roof to give an interview to TV cameras. He then expressed love for his wife, produced a gun and shot himself in the head while the cameras kept on rolling. Um, wow.
The victims' families say the suicide was part of a pact of silence - that the ex-police chief would not testify against former colleagues accused of kidnapping and killing some of the tens of thousands of Argentines who died during a period that became known as the "Dirty war".

This may sound excessively cynical to outsiders, who would perhaps also suspect that few people would kill themselves rather than talk. But for the families who have spent the past thirty years battling repression, bureaucracy, impunity, and a wall of silence - sometimes at risk of their own lives - this is a soberly realistic judgement. Ferreyra was obviously heavily involved in the human rights abuses of the military regime, and he has effectively cheated the victims' families out of the chance to hear him testify in court.

Argentine man kills himself on TV (BBC)

And the Argentine media:
Un final a toda sangre para la television (Pagina/12)
Perseguido por la Policia, se suicido "el Malevo" Ferreyra ante la television (Critica Digital)

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