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Two Former ‘Dirty War’ Dictators Found Guilty In Argentine Baby-Stealing Trial

BUENOS AIRES (CNN) – An Argentinian court Thursday found two former dictators guilty of stealing dozens of babies during the country’s dirty war.

Argentina military junta members,top officers, and ministers

Jorge Rafael Videla
Jorge Rafael Videla, who ruled as a dictator between 1976 to 1981, was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Videla, Jorge Rafael (Gen.)

A.k.a. “The Bone.” The head of the responsible.
Born in Aug. 2, 1925, in Mercedes, Argentina de-facto president of Argentina from 1976 to 1981 and the main architect of the dirty-war.  In 1975 President Isabel Perón, under pressure from the military establishment, appointed him commander in chief of the Argentinan Army. From this position he began a reorganization of the military leadership, removing officers sympathetic to Peronism. In the same year, he led an army campaign against the People’s Revolutionary Army (Ejército Revolucionario del Pueblo or ERP) in the northern Tucumán province, which resulted in the annihilation of hundreds of leftist guerrillas.
Reynaldo Bignone
Gen. Reynaldo Benito Bignone, who ruled the country from June 1982 until the nation’s return to democracy in December 1983, was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Bignone, Reynaldo Benito (Gen.)

On 28th of March 1976, headed a wide operation in the Alejandro Posadas Hospital in the Haedo district. During this operation 40 people were kidnapped, the rest of the hostpital staff was discharged, and the place was converted to a secret detention center.  Bignone main entry into history will probably be as the main crime cover-up architect. Bignone was already retired when he was requested by the junta to replace Galtieri as president after the defeat of the Argentine Army in the Falklands. On July 1st, 1982, two weeks after Galtieri’s resignation, Bignone became the fourth and last president of the de-facto government.

They were the two most high-profile defendants found guilty Thursday of systematically stealing babies from political prisoners and giving them new identities.
The dictators and their officers were on trial for being the “presumed authors of the crimes of theft, retention and hiding of minors, as well as replacing their identities,” according to a statement from the country’s judiciary. Specifically, they were tried for the stealing of 34 babies from their parents, the court said.
During the trial, Videla said children may have been kidnapped, but he said that there was no order or systematic plan.
Videla, who was among the coup leaders who overthrew then-President Isabel Martinez de Peron in March 1976, was previously convicted in 2010 of human rights abuses during his rule and is currently serving a life sentence in prison.
The accusations stem from the country’s Dirty War from 1976 to 1983. During those years of military dictatorship, up to 30,000 students, labor leaders, intellectuals and leftists disappeared or were held in secret jails and torture centers.


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