Sunday, 16 October 2011

Argentina: Is it possible he didn't know?

One of the major trials currently taking place in Argentina is the so-called "Circuito Camps". This encompasses the cases from the detention centres under the control of general Ramón Camps (who died in 1994). It includes some of the emblematic cases of the dictatorship: the students taken during the Night of the Pencil (Noche de las lapices); the stealing of the grandchild of María Isabel “Chicha” Chorobik de Mariani; the abduction of Jacobo Timerman; the disappearance of Adriana Calvo, later a key figure in the human rights movement.

There are 26 people on trial - and one of them was never a member of the armed forces. Jaime Smart was a civilian member of the military government of Buenos Aires between 1976 and 1979. His defence is that he claims that he knew nothing of the repression that took place during this period. In fact, all he knew was "what was reported in the papers" - which was, of course, almost nothing at all. He is facing charges of illegal deprivation of liberty and aggravated torture against 61 people in eight detention centres. The court will have to decide whether it is reasonable to believe him that he could have known nothing.

Circuito Camps: el dilema judicial por el único civil acusado
Los crímenes del Circuito Camps (Pagina/12)

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