Next June/July eighteen former Argentine officers will be facing formal torture charges, allegedly committed against conscripts during the Falklands conflict 37 years ago, and twelve years since the beginning of the official investigation by the Tierra del Fuego federal court.
Federal magistrate Federico Calvete at the Rio Grande court had originally summoned the accused last December, but the process was delayed until the Prosecution was able to locate and notify all the defendants, according to Telam, the Argentine government news agency.
The case was started in 2007 and at this stage magistrate Calvete instructed a chronogram of investigative hearings from 27 June to July 4th. He also ordered the investigation of another six former military officers given the concurrence of evidence from over a hundred former combatants accusing them of live burying and staking, among other human rights abuses. No summons date was announced for these six former officers.
The case, 1777/07, Pierre Pedro Valentín and others on a criminal public prosecution, was born out of testimonies from the Argentine soldiers returning from the Falklands, following the defeat of the invading forces.
The claim took off with the presentation of the first twenty five reports by Pablo Vassel who back in 2007 was Human Rights Secretary of the province of Corrientes, and was further propelled by presentations from the Malvinas Veterans Center of La Plata that became the plaintiff in the case.
Twelve years ago I denounced before the federal court in Rio Grande the tortures and abuses suffered by the Malvinas Islands combatants. After a long, intricate judicial process, the first summons for the investigations were determined, said Vassel.
According to Rio Grande prosecutor Marcelo Rapport, military authorities in the Islands, ordered and executed different forms of torture against the conscripts, such as live burying and staking in an effort to control the growing indiscipline caused by the lack of shelter and food which the troops were suffering.
According to La Plata Malvinas Veterans center there are 105 specific cases of torture denounced and 95 former military officers mentioned.