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Sun Jun 14, 2015, 10:01 AM

First judge convicted for dictatorship era crimes in Argentina

Luciana Bertoia
Buenos Aires Herald
June 13, 2015

The Province of Tucumán was a witness to history yesterday when Manlio Torcuato Martínez became the first judge to be sentenced for crimes committed during the state-terror era. Family members of victims wept with relief after the verdict of 16 years in prison was read in court.

Martínez was found guilty of abuse of power, failing to comply with the obligation to prosecute crimes and the cover-up of the murder of María Alejandra Niklison, Fernando Saavedra, Eduardo González Paz, Juan Carlos Meneses, and Atilio Brandsen in what is known as the massacre of Azcuénaga Street.

In 2011, Gen. Luciano Benjamín Menéndez, the former head of the Third Army Corps — who commanded the repression in 10 northern provinces, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of the five activists who were part of Montoneros, a Peronist left-wing organization. Now, the court analyzed Martínez’s role in the case and also convicted him for fabricating a case against Miguel Atilio Romano, who was the owner of the house where the activists were murdered by the armed forces on May 20, 1976.

Human rights organizations and family members of victims celebrated outside the courtroom. “A ruling like this was unthinkable several years ago,” federal prosecutor Agustín Chit told the Herald yesterday. The Attorney General’s Office had requested to sentence Martínez to 25 years; but, though the penalty was more lenient, they praised the judges’ decision.

Martínez became judge in 1975 and retired in 1983. “He started working when the Operation Independence was launched and left when democracy returned to the country. He played a key role during the state terror era,” Chit said yesterday.

In 1975, President María Estela Martínez de Perón deployed troops in Tucumán to “annihilate” the guerrilla groups that were carrying out activities in that province. Operation Independence set the basis for the repression that would be unleashed by the dictatorship between 1976 and 1983.

Martínez was mentioned in Tucumán’s Never Again report in 1984 for his role in the darkest years of the military regime.

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/191495/first-judge-convicted-for-dictatorship-era-crimes

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Reply First judge convicted for dictatorship era crimes in Argentina (Original post)
forest444 Jun 2015 OP
Judi Lynn Jun 2015 #1
forest444 Jun 2015 #2

Response to forest444 (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 04:29 PM

1. This could never have happened had the people not elected someone like Kirchner or Fernandez.

It took the Presidential election of a former tortured prisoner, and his brilliant wife to remove the immunity from these murderous clowns, and start the justice process, at long last.


El ex juez federal Manlio Martínez


Trial attended by loved ones of his victims.[/center]
Thank you, forest444. It would have been awful to have missed this.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 14, 2015, 08:09 PM

2. No doubt about it.

Which is why Argentina's right-wingers have such high hopes on their pet candidate (who can do no wrong despite quadrupling the municipal debt in 7 years): http://www.buenosairesherald.com/article/177988/pro-leader-says-human-rights-policy-cannot-be-%E2%80%98vengeful%E2%80%99

Priority number one for Mauricio Macri: “Eliminating human rights scams.” And this from a man who was himself twice kidnapped for ransom by the "Captains' Band" - police captains trained in the '70s by the CIA in arson, extortion, and kidnapping under the auspices of Operation Condor.

No wonder the GOP loves him: Human Rights for me; but not for thee.

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