“ABO” detention centers: convictions requested for crimes against 352 people

The crimes attributed to the nine defendants were proven over the course of the trial, according to plaintiffs. For the first time, information was brought to light regarding the “transfer”-murder of 14 people held captive in this circuit of clandestine detention centers.

Today we finished our pleadings in the third trial for the crimes against humanity committed in the circuit of clandestine detention centers known as ABO – Atlético, Banco and Olimpo – which were operated successively in and around the city of Buenos Aires between late 1976 and early 1979.

This trial, which began in September 2016, seeks to clarify the role and criminal liability of nine defendants in the abduction and torture of 352 people and the murder of 19 of them. According to the unified legal team representing plaintiffs, which CELS forms part of, it has been proven that the accused acted as co-perpetrators of these crimes.

Although the “ABO” detention centers changed their name and location, the victims, their captors and the means of torture used remained the same. The number of people held captive varied: as new victims were brought in, the military made space by ordering one or two “transfers” (a euphemism for murders) per month. For the first time in court, information has come to light regarding the transfer-murders of the following 14 people: Carlos Antonio Pacino, Hugo Julián Luna, Nora Fátima Haiuk, Oscar Néstor Forlenza, María Cristina Pérez, Ana María Pifaretti, Juan Carlos Rugilo, Mabel Verónica Maero, Franklin Lucio Goizueta, Irma Niesich, Roberto Alejandro Zaldarriaga, Pablo Pavich, Abel Héctor Mateu Gallardo and Guillermo Pagés Larraya.

Today we requested that Federal Oral Court No.2 hand down sentences of life imprisonment to: Alfredo Omar Feito, a member of Intelligence Battalion 601, for the kidnapping and torture of eight people and the aggravated murder of one of them; Juan Miguel Méndez, former sublieutenant of the National Gendarmerie, for the abduction and torture of 212 people and the murder of 19 of them; and Héctor Horacio Marc, who formally belonged to the Federal Penitentiary Service, for the kidnapping and torture of 289 people and the murder of 19 of them.

Six of the accused belonged to the Argentine Federal Police’s intelligence division. For Juan Carlos Mario Chacra, we requested life in prison for the kidnapping and torture of 305 people and the aggravated murder of 19 of them. The same sentence was solicited for Eduardo Ángel Cruz for kidnapping and torturing 213 people and acting as co-perpetrator in the murder of 19 of them. We also requested life imprisonment for Gerardo Jorge Arráez – for the abduction and torture of 214 people and the murder of 19 – and Ricardo Valdivia, for the abduction and torture of 201 people and the murder of 19. Finally we requested that the court sentence Carlos Alberto Lorenzatti and Raimundo Oscar Izzi to 25 years in prison, for the kidnapping and torture of 154 people, in the case of Lorenzatti, and of 57 people, in the case of Izzi.

CELS heads the unified legal team alongside the Equipo Jurídico Kaos. CELS is a plaintiff in its capacity as a human rights organization, acting on behalf of all the victims. It also represents the individuals Carmen Aguiar de Lapacó, for her case and that of her daughter, Alejandra Lapacó; María Paula Maroni and María Rosa Graciela Giganti, for their cases and that of Juan Patricio Maroni; Carlos Pisoni, for his parents, Irene Bellochio and Rolando Pisoni; Isabel Cerrutti, for her own case; Josefina and Francisco Giglio, for Virginia Isabel Cazalás de Giglio; and Agustín Cetrángolo, for Víctor Cetrángolo.

The Equipo Jurídico Kaos represents Carlos Rodolfo Cuellar, Guillermo Cabrera Cerocchi, Jorge Alberto Allega, Delia Barrera and Ferrando Mario Villani, Matías Ayastuy, for the cases of their parents, Jorge Ayastuy and Marta Elsa Bugnone; Rufino Jorge Almeida, Jorge Osvaldo Paladino, Dominga Bellizzi de Scutari, for her own case and those of Hugo, Francisco and Horacio Scutari; Juan Agustín Guillén, Julieta and Pablo Risso, for the cases of their parents, Norma Puerto de Risso and Daniel Risso; Ada Cristina Marquat de Basile, for her own case and that of Enrique Luis Basile and Emilia Smoli de Basile; Ramiro Poce, for the case of his father, Ricardo Poce; Fernando Tocco, for the case of his father, José Tocco; Roxana Sposaro, for the case of Lucía Teresa Ambrosetti; María Julia Daroqui, for the case of Juan Carlos Daroqui; Enrique Augusto, Esteban, Estela Alicia and Susana Bugnone, for the case of María Elena Bugnone de Bonafini; and María Eugenia Sampallo Barragán, for the case of Leonardo Rubén Sampallo. Irma Liliana Medina, the sister of Rubén Medina, is represented by attorney Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta and the Pacino, Peña and Villanueva families by attorney Pablo Llonto.

*Photo: La izquierda diario