The Supreme Court of Argentina stirs up national outrage

The Supreme Court of Argentina stirs up national outrage

These women have never stopped looking for their sons, daughters, and grandchildren who were lost during the “Dirty War,” which lasted between 1976 and 1983.

‘Nunca mas’

The 1976 coup in Argentina, which overthrew President Maria Estela Martinez de Peron through a military regime, was one of the most bloody and devastating in its history. In only seven and half years, more than 30,000 people “disappeared,” 300 bodies were found mangled and live prisoners dropped from planes“. Twenty-two public officials were also assassinated.

Raul Alfonsin, who led Argentina’s first democracy from 1983 to 1989, was aware of this legacy and focused his successful campaign in 1983 on restoring the rule of law. He hoped that systematically prosecuting Argentina’s dictators and their henchmen would rebuild the trust of society in state institutions.

Later administrations can regress. In the 1990s, President Carlos Menem gave amnesty for war criminals. Under the laws of Due Obedience, or Obedea Debidea (89), and End Point (Punto final, 1990), sentences were commutated, and guilty generals were set free.

The Argentinean population, however, had already learned Alfonsin’s lesson: Human rights violators should be punished. Since 1983, the vast majority of citizens have held that trials and punishments are essential to rebuilding their republic and restoring the democratic sensibility.

The courts were in agreement from 2004 onwards. Judges in all parts of the country began to examine the constitutionality of older cases where amnesty was granted to war crimes and retrialing scores of officers, generals, and commanders.

The Supreme Court of Appeals in Argentina, the highest criminal court, declared on September 6, 2004, that amnesty for war crimes was unconstitutional.

In 2012, an Argentine court handed former dictator Jorge Rafael Videla a sentence of 50 years in prison. Enrique Marcarian/Reuters

In 1985, the process of ending impunity started with the Trial of the Juntas, in which nine military officials were tried on TV and sentenced. The proceedings were also published daily in a newspaper special, Diario del Juicio.

The report by the government that followed, Nunca Mas, memorialized the truth of Argentina’s state terror, including the names and aliases used by those who waged war against citizens, as well as the forms of torture and concentration camps they used.

The generals indicted never apologized for their infamous acts: staffing Death Flights, taking newborn babies, and appropriating belongings from the disappeared.

The Argentinean team of anthropologists forense supported Mexico’s investigation into the 43 students who disappeared in Ayotzinpa, Guerrero, in 2014. Equipo Argentino De Antropologia forense recently helped Mexico in its investigation into the 43 students who vanished in Ayotzinpa in Guerrero in 2014.

No to impunity

Since 1983, Argentina has been hit by many economic crises and political crises. One thing, however, has never changed: the importance of human dignity and the need to not forget or forgive those who violate it.

The Argentinean Republic has a DNA that is non-negotiable. It is also the last bulwark for a people whose democratic government has made many mistakes.

As a nation, Argentina has celebrated the 122 grand that the Grandmothers recovered at the Plaza de Mayo. Together, citizens have raged against convicted torturers like former Buenos Aires Police Chief Miguel Etchecolaz, who admits to killing people from 1976 to 1983 but cannot remember how many. Shirk responsibility for their actions.

In a nation where laws are routinely violated, there is one rule that persists: No more impunity.

The 1984 report established a culture of vigilance. Wikimedia

The Argentineans were bound to reject in mass the “two-for one” court ruling that sided with Muina as a criminal of “Dirty War”. Taty Almeida, Director of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo Founding Line, said during the protest on May 10: “Never Again Silence.” We will not live with the bloodiest murderers in Argentina’s history.

Politics is on the side of many people these days. After the ruling, Congress passed a bill with bipartisan support that prohibited the “two for one” rule in cases of crimes committed against humanity.

The bill was passed before the demonstrations, which allowed Estela Carlotto – president of the Grandmothers Plaza de Mayo and a well-known face of citizen resistance – to repeat her motto from the past 40 years, “Senores Judges, never again will a genocidal be set free.”

The Supreme Court made a mistake by siding with impunity. Even if the idea of reconciliation comes from the Catholic Church, the Argentinean public has made it clear that they do not want to go down the path of reconciliation; the painful lesson from Argentina’s 20th-century history is that without justice, there can be no republic.

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