Thursday 18 December 2008

Argentina: Astiz, Acosta to Be Freed

Some of Argentina's most notorious human rights abusers are to be freed, according to a ruling today. The ['alleged'] perpetrators have spent more than two years in jail without being convicted of a crime.

Those among the dozen or so military members to be liberated are Alfredo Astiz, who befriended the original Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo under cover before betraying them to the junta authorities, and Jorge "El Tigre" Acosta, an ESMA torturer.

I can understand the justification for this, seeing as holding unconvicted people for inordinately long amounts of time is not really acceptable - but the bigger question is clearly why they were allowed to enjoy their liberty for so long already, and why the trials drag on for such periods. If these people had been efficiently processed at the end of the dictatorship, they would now be nearing the end of 25 year prison terms. As it is, they have yet to fully pay for their crimes.

Astiz y "El Tigre" Acosta podran queder en libertad
Ordenan la liberacion de Astiz, el Tigre Acosta y otros represores de la ESMA (Clarin)
Varios represores de la ESMA podran recuperar libartad bajo caucion (Critica)


Daniel Saver said...

I though that Cristina Krichner's response was interesting, and unusually strongly worded:

"Hoy es un día de vergüenza para los argentinos y la humanidad."


As you mentioned, the big question is how this situation was permitted to develop in the first place -- that they should be held for 2 years without charges, after having been left free for so many years following the dictatorship. Is Cristina's comment a sign that perhaps she will support some sort of judicial reform?

Otto said...

Astiz has been in jail since 2003. The others are a mixed bag.

5 years is a buot a tenth of what he deserves

Otto said...


Lillie Langtry said...

Yes, they were strong words Daniel, and as you can see from the other posts the story immediately moved on, with the government then doing everything to stop the releases. Obviously if it works Kirchner will want to portray herself as the saviour of human rights.

Otto - indeed. I lose track of the crimes he can potentially be tried for, but I assume they are numerous. (Really, I've thought before that someone needs to maintain a properly updated "where are they now?" website with all the details of the cases against the Argentine ex-military in one place. You get a lot of out of date information and it can get confusing. For lack of time, I am not going to start such a site myself, but it would be good!)