A clash over how to punish the crimes of Argentina’s dictatorship

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MORE than 40 years have passed since Argentina’s generals seized power. They kidnapped, tortured and killed thousands of Argentines whom they saw as a threat to western civilisation. Democracy was restored in 1983, but many perpetrators of those crimes have never been punished. Of the 2,780 people who have been charged with human-rights violations since 2006, just 750 have been found guilty.

Now, some Argentines fear, even that incomplete justice is being weakened. On May 3rd the country’s supreme court made a decision that could free as many as 248 prisoners. The case relates to Luis Muiña, who in 2011 was sentenced to 13 years in prison for the kidnap and torture of five people in 1976. The court ruled that, under Argentina’s “two-for-one” law, some of the time he had spent on remand should reduce his sentence by double that amount of time. This cut it by eight years. His release on parole in April was thus legal.

Since democracy was restored, politics…Continue reading