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Mon Dec 23, 2019, 01:01 AM

How did an accused torturer end up teaching at the Sorbonne?

Mario Sandoval charged with dictatorship-era crimes in Argentina – so how could he have worked undetected at a top French university?

Uki Goñi in Buenos Aires

Sun 22 Dec 2019 04.30 EST

The Argentinian security specialist was in his mid-40s, spoke good French and had recently obtained French citizenship. His credentials were impeccable – he’d spent the previous five years teaching international relations at another Paris institute, the Université Marne-la-Vallée – and he soon became a valued asset at the Sorbonne.

During his six years at the illustrious university, from 1999 to 2005, Sandoval regularly volunteered to screen student applicants and organized numerous seminars, bringing in outside experts to speak to his students.

“He had an uncanny capacity to blend in. He would roll up his sleeves and get straight to work,” said Carlos Quenan, a fellow Argentinian academic at the Sorbonne. “I never received any particular complaint from staff or students about him.”

What Quenan and his colleagues at the Sorbonne did not know was that before arriving in France in 1985, Sandoval had allegedly been a notorious police torturer during Argentina’s military dictatorship.


Mario Sandoval

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Reply How did an accused torturer end up teaching at the Sorbonne? (Original post)
Judi Lynn Dec 2019 OP
Judi Lynn Dec 2019 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 01:33 AM

1. Guardian, 2016: How an Argentinian man learned his 'father' may have killed his real parents

How an Argentinian man learned his 'father' may have killed his real parents
Uki Goñi in Buenos Aires

From 1976 to 1983, hundreds of babies were taken from the ‘disappeared’ and raised by military families. Guillermo Pérez Roisinblit was one – and the man who raised him worked at the base where his parents were murdered

Fri 22 Jul 2016 06.00 EDTLast modified on Thu 8 Sep 2016 16.48 EDT

When he was a child, Guillermo’s parents nicknamed him “the Jew”.

Theirs was not a peaceful home: air force intelligence officer Francisco Gómez beat his wife Teodora Jofre frequently. “I saw him threaten her with a knife, hit her with a rifle butt, throw her on the floor and shout he would put a bullet in her,” Guillermo eventually told a court in Buenos Aires, years later.

On school holidays, Gómez would take Guillermo to spend the day at the Buenos Aires Regional Intelligence (Riba) air force base. Fellow agents took the boy out for ice cream or let him play with their unloaded guns.

Eventually, Jofre could stand her husband’s abuse no longer, and the couple separated; Guillermo lived with Jofre and only saw Gómez on weekends.

Guillermo’s world was turned upside down at age 21 when a young woman tracked him down at the fast-food outlet where he worked in the outlying Buenos Aires district of San Miguel.

“I told her I was busy working,” Guillermo recalls now. “So she sat down at a table, and wrote me a note.”


Image caption
Jose Manuel Perez Rojo and Patricia Roisinblit were seized by the military on 6 October 1978

(The resemblance of the children to their mother and father is wonderful!)

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