Seven company workers who were kidnapped in the 1970s – six of whom remain disappeared – and whose cases are analyzed in this trial were labor activists and delegates to the internal trade-union commission at Mercedes-Benz. CELS is acting as a plaintiff in its capacity as a human rights organization.
A plant owned by the Argentine steelmaker housed both a clandestine detention center and a police outpost during the 1976-1983 dictatorship. Company executives pointed out the workers who should be kidnapped and provided the military with photographs from their personal files so they could be identified.
After 15 years of judicial investigations and a year-long trial, a federal court in Argentina found two former heads of Ford’s plant in General Pacheco guilty of acting as direct participants in illegal detentions and torture during the 1976-1983 dictatorship. This is a milestone in the sanctioning of civilian responsibility in state terrorism.
The high court ruled on the case of Rufino Batalla, convicted to 13 years in prison for the kidnapping, torture and murder of Laura Carlotto and Olga Noemí Casado, and who had requested that the “2 for 1” sentence reduction provision be applied to his case. By determining it was inapplicable, the Supreme Court modified the criteria it had utilized in the Muiña ruling, which prompted widespread repudiation and led to the approval of a new law.
Sentenced to prison terms between eight years and life, the former police officers were convicted for the crimes they committed against six activists in the city of Rafaela, province of Santa Fe. Silva Suppo, a survivor of state terrorism, was killed in 2010.
Ana María and Roberto were abducted in Morón, a suburb of Buenos Aires, and taken to the clandestine detention center known as the Sheraton or Embudo. For the couple’s kidnapping and torture, we ask that the court sentence the four defendants to 25 years in prison. At the trial, CELS represents their daughters, Andrea, Paula and Albertina Carri.
The public prosecutor’s office will question sugar industry executives from the province of Tucumán about their collaboration with the crimes committed against 68 people. Eleven of the victims remain disappeared.
The UN Special Rapporteur on torture, upon concluding his visit to the country, said that detention conditions in provincial police stations and prisons “severely contravene international standards and are incompatible with human dignity.” He also denounced the “degrading” conditions in the Melchor Romero psychiatric hospital and police violence in low-income neighborhoods. At the same time, he urged the Argentine state to allocate “sufficient resources to ensure the timely processing and adjudication of the remaining cases and trials for crimes against humanity.”
Human rights organizations repudiate this maneuver that conceals another attempt to benefit the repressors. The Federal Penitentiary Service, which reports to the national Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, sent a list of 1,111 detained persons who, due to their time spent in prison, qualify for parole or house arrest with electronic monitoring. The document included 96 people convicted of crimes against humanity.
FIDH, CELS and Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo present an amicus curiae brief before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, demonstrating the incompatibility of the pardon granted to former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori with international and inter-American human rights standards.
After a trial lasting five years, the case known as ESMA III ended with 29 life imprisonment convictions, 19 sentences of between 8 and 25 years in prison, and 6 acquittals.
Next week the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will hold its 165th session in Montevideo. CELS will participate with other organizations in two public hearings and two work meetings with representatives of the IACHR and the Argentine state.
A federal appeals court overturned the convictions of businessman Marcos Levín and three police officers, disregarding the context of worker persecution that existed in the 1970s and was evident in the case of Levín’s company, La Veloz del Norte. It also failed to acknowledge civilian and corporate complicity with the dictatorship and questioned the numerous witnesses who told of Levín’s presence at the place where torture was carried out.
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.
More than 300 people were detained in the Automotores Orletti clandestine detention center, which functioned in a Buenos Aires mechanics’ shop in 1976. The majority were kidnapped as part of Operation Condor, a criminal conspiracy to persecute and disappear people across international borders.
Campaign by human rights organizations so that the Argentine Supreme Court issues a new ruling rolling back its decision that benefited perpetrators of crimes against humanity.
Today was the second and final hearing of the plaintiffs’ pleadings in the trial over crimes committed in the Orletti clandestine detention center. Two murders had never been brought to light during a trial before and, for the first time, these defendants are being held to account for their actions under state terrorism. We requested that three of them be sentenced to life in prison.
Published by openDemocracy, this opinion piece analyzes the joint work and individual strategies that different Argentine, regional and international organizations used to convince OAS member states to reject Argentina’s candidate to the IACHR, Carlos Horacio de Casas.
The countries of the OAS must elect new commissioners to the IACHR. In February we formally objected to the Argentine state’s candidate. In addition, two ex-presidents of the IACHR, an international panel of independent experts and more than 60 scholars rejected his candidacy.
Some half a million people took to the streets in Buenos Aires alone to reject a Supreme Court decision aimed at dramatically reducing prison terms for perpetrators of crimes against humanity during the last dictatorship.
Victorio Paulón, a metalworker and union leader who was detained during Argentina’s 1976-1983 dictatorship, discusses judicial reluctance to prosecute corporate responsibility for the crimes against humanity committed under state terrorism.
The court devotes little time to the hearings. In the final stage of the trial, unjustified motions for judges’ recusal are causing new delays. The past two years of the trial have been spent on the pleadings alone.
While the arrest gives a sense of satisfaction to the victims and society, the lawsuits investigating Milani for crimes against humanity have been notable for their delays. This decision should have been reached long ago.
The United Nations intergovernmental working group in charge of designing the treaty met in Geneva.
Prosecution will continue over the crimes against humanity committed at Automotores Orletti, the clandestine detention center where many victims of Operation Condor were held illegally.
This is the third trial for the crimes against humanity committed in the “ABO” circuit of clandestine detention centers, which were used for two years starting in early 1977.
Dialogue between the UN Human Rights Committee and the Argentine state regarding compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The existence of a formal system of repressive coordination between the dictatorships of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay was proven in court.
CELS, on behalf of the unified legal team representing plaintiffs, requested life in prison for 51 defendants and 10-to-25-year prison terms for four others, in the third trial over the crimes against humanity committed at the ESMA torture and detention center.
The report “Business responsibility in crimes against humanity: The repression of workers during state terrorism” presents evidence confirming that the owners, executives and managers of some companies actively participated in violating the human rights of workers during Argentina’s last dictatorship (1976-1983).