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Montevideo, June 2nd 2023 - 19:45 UTC



Argentine officers accused for torturing own troops during 1982 war

Friday, April 9th 2021 - 10:55 UTC
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The defendants are to be held accountable for 18 acts of torture against their own starving troops The defendants are to be held accountable for 18 acts of torture against their own starving troops

The Federal Court of Appeals of Comodoro Rivadavia Thursday upheld in a 2-1 vote the arraignment of former Argentine officers Eduardo Gassino, Belisario Affranchino Rumi, Gustavo Calderini and Miguel Ángel Garde for “imposition of torments” on soldiers under their command during the 1982 armed conflict with the United Kingdom over the Falkland Islands.

This type of offence is considered a “crime against humanity” which means there is no statute of limitations for the defendants, who shall remain incarcerated pending trial.

The new ruling upheld what in February 2020 had been decided by the Federal Court of Río Grande in Tierra del Fuego.

In a 20-page ruling, the Comodoro Rivadavia court also understood there was a “lack of merit” to substantiate charges against Belisario Affranchino Rumi.

Justices Javier Leal de Ibarra and Aldo Suárez voted in favour of the prosecution while their colleague Hebe Corchuelo de Huberman understood the charges were to be declared void given the passage of time.

In any case, the concurring magistrates found that the conduct under investigation was not about isolated or random events, but rather “presumably formed part of an attack, deployed by superiority against subordinate personnel, which at least would have enjoyed the acquiescence of the State.”

They also interpreted that the suffering imposed on the troops, “consisting of the unjustified deprivation of food [and] the application of illegitimate and degrading sanctions,“ was ”a common practise carried out by ... commanders over the most common soldiers.“

On the other hand, Judge Corchuelo de Huberman maintained that although the investigated conducts ”could have seriously threatened individual legal rights, it is not sufficient to be conceptualized as crimes against humanity.”

She said that “no matter how aberrant the actions that presumably have been carried out may be, the requirements of systematicity or generality of the attack are not accredited, as elements that would elevate the crimes allegedly committed to the most serious category of crimes against humanity.”

The defendants are charged with 18 acts of torture applied to soldiers who complained about the lack of food or, directly, sought to obtain it by their own means.

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  • Chicureo

    Normally I’m all for the court-martial of commissioned officers violating basic solder rights — but the crimes committed were not so grave that prosecution should take place now for actions that took place in 1982.

    But — then again — this is Argentina and passion rules the law!

    Apr 09th, 2021 - 12:19 pm 0
  • Think

    Torture is INTERNATIONALLY recognized as a “Crime against Humanity” and therefore IMPRESCRIPTIBLE..., milico...

    -We do know that your Military Indoctrination disregarded completely the concept of “Human Rights”..., mostly on the base that the “Enemy” ain't no Human Being...

    Time to re-educate yourself..., hermanito...
    You can still make it...!

    Apr 09th, 2021 - 03:26 pm 0
  • Chicureo


    As everyone should know — commissioned officers are responsible for the complete morale and welfare of enlisted personnel under their command. We were instilled that failure to comply with that primary tenet — could easily result in prosecution.

    With respect — what your Argentine commissioned officers appallingly committed was absolutely detestable and the military code of conduct calls for strong penalties.

    Obviously there are crimes that are without a statute of limitations for prosecution (such as murder) — but the actions were not of the “crimes against humanity” level and I would point out that these crimes were committed nearly four decades ago!

    What is being demanded is NOT justice — but inappropriate vengeance instead.


    Apr 09th, 2021 - 08:42 pm 0
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