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article imageLast Argentine dictator sentenced to prison for 25 years

By Andrew Moran     Apr 21, 2010 in World
Buenos Aires - Argentina's last dictator between 1976 and 1983 has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for committing human rights abuses during his military rule.
On Friday, a tribunal sentenced the last dictator of Argentina, Reynaldo Bignone, to 25 years in prison for his human rights abuses during his seven-year tenure, according to the Associated Press.
The court ruled that the 82-year-old was co-responsible for at least 56 cases of torture, break-ins of residences and illegal detention of Argentine citizens in one of the country’s largest torture centers: Campo de Mayo military base.
More than 11,000 people died during Bignone’s reign during the crackdown on leftists and his opponents but many human rights organizations have put the number to 30,000, reports Press TV. However, Bignone has denied all accusations put forth.
AFP reports that when the verdict was read, families of those victims applauded the sentence and felt that justice was served, such as the head of the Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo, Estela de Carlotto.
“Justice was delivered late, but it was delivered. Like with the Nazis, wherever they run, wherever they go, we will find them,” said de Carlotto.
At the end of the proceedings, the ex-dictator delivered a speech defending himself and denouncing the court’s legitimacy, where he said being convicted of the crimes cited would be preferable “to the repudiation of my superiors and subordinates who with me fought the horrors of this war against terror.”
Others involved with Bignone were also convicted, all of whom were more than 80-years-old: Santiago Riveros, a general who commanded military institutions; Fernando Verplaetsen, a general who was in charge of Campo de Mayo's intelligence service; and retired generals Carlos Tepedino, Jorge Garcia and Eugenio Guanabens Perello.
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