Thursday, 20 August 2009

Argentina: Justice Delays

Another disappointing look at progress prosecuting the Argentine perpetrators of human rights abusers.

Trials for human rights crimes committed by the 1976-1983 dictatorship in Argentina, reopened four years ago after amnesty laws were struck down, are moving at such a slow pace that so far only 50 people have been convicted. At this rate it is estimated proceedings will continue for another 15 years.

"The problem is that the sheer scale of what happened is diluted that way," prosecutor Eduardo Auat, head of the unit for coordination and monitoring of cases of human rights violations under state terrorism, which is in charge of facilitating and expediting the trials being held all over the country, told IPS.

Auat advocates the grouping of cases by clandestine detention centre, or by some other criterion, to avoid each suspect being tried one case at a time, creating an endless parade of defendants and witnesses in a piecemeal trickle of trials that "conspires against a view of the big picture," he said.

"We have asked the judges to combine connected cases, which is a useful instrument permitted in the Criminal Code, but not all of them have agreed," he said.

Delayed Justice for Dictatorship Crimes (IPS)

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