April 13th, 2010
02:34 PM ET

Human rights violator in Argentina gets 15 years

A former Argentina army intelligence officer who violated the human rights of two people during the nation's military dictatorship has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, the government's judicial information service said Tuesday.

Horacio Barcos illegally detained and tortured Amalia Petrona Ricotti and her now-deceased husband, Jose Alberto Tur, at a secret detention center from May 16 through 31, 1978, for their political beliefs, a federal court in the city of Santa Fe found.

The court sentenced Barcos to 11 years on the human rights charges and combined that term Monday with a 2003 sentence on an extortion conviction. The combined sentences totaled 15 years.

Up to 30,000 people disappeared or were held in secret jails or torture centers during Argentina's 1976-1983 dictatorship. The prisoners included students, labor leaders, intellectuals and leftists who ran afoul of the dictatorship because of their political views. Most were dragged off the street or otherwise summarily arrested and held without trial in secret prisons where many were tortured.

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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Mario Berardelli, Montreal Canada

    This is a big deal! Because Argentinian jurisprudence up to this point had always referred to the amnesty accorded by the first elected government. The only type of crime that had been excluded up to now had been the kidnapping of the children of the disappeared. So! a new step toward accountability and that has to be a good thing.

    April 13, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
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