Friday, 19 December 2008

Will Astiz Be Freed After All?

The story of the Argentine human rights abusers who are to be set free has taken another turn, with the announcement that Astiz's release will be suspended pending an 'extraordinary appeal' before the Supreme Court.
"I don't think I'm breaking the law when I say that the justice system will revoke (the release order) for the sake of Argentina's dignity," Kirchner said at the Memory Museum dedicated to the victims of the dictatorship, located inside the premises of the former Navy Mechanics School.

Argentina suspends release of 'Blond Angel of Death' (AFP)

Evidently the government is reacting to the widespread disgust at the initial ruling. The problem, of course, is that this - and the whole, long, twisted tale of legal proceedings against Astiz since the return to democracy - is all politically motivated. Argentina needs a clear, firm, legal system which processes cases promptly and is unaffected by the whims and pressures of party politics. OK, this is a utopia for all countries, but in Argentina the lack of it has allowed people who committed crimes against humanity to go free for most of the last twenty-five years.

Here's a bit of a news round-up:
Christina Kirchner had strong words for the judges at a memorial act at the ESMA, calling the incident shaming for Argentines and humanity:
Christina: "Hoy es un dia de verguenza para los argentinos y la humanidad" (Clarin)

And on the apparent U-turn:
Argentina Suspends Astiz Release (BBC)
La Camara de Casacion suspendio la liberacion de los represores (Pagina/12)
Dieron marcha atras en la liberacion de Acosta, Astiz y otros represores (Critica)

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