The Spanish Judge urged
While Argentina's new president, Nestor Kirchner, was considering a decree that blocks the extradition of former military leaders accused of human rights abuses during the Argentina's military dictatorship of the 1970's, the Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon decided to double the bet. From
Mr. Garzon also demanded more than €2.6bn compensation on behalf of Spanish victims of the juntas, in still another step with his crusade to confirm the principle that former torturers can be tried outside their own countries.
Garzon's move hit the Argentine government like a ton of bricks. Since Kirchner took office less than two months ago, the military been uneasy about any modification to the amnesty laws passed in the eighties. However, Kirchner's administration looks decided to give a definitive solution to the problem, but needs time. Sources close to the government claim that the Army was very sensitive when it comes to reviewing it darkest files. Any missteps, it has warned, could lead to "an increasing in the level of confrontation". The problem is that two weeks after taking office, Kirchner ordered the retirement of 50 military officials allegedly linked to the illegal repression, reopening the debate on victims’ rights.
Kirchner's close collaborators have expressed irritation with Garzon's move, as try to handle the case as carefully as possible. Recently, during a traditional dinner with Army officers, Kirchner received a cold welcome from his subordinates.
"We have to find a way to resolve this sad part of our history and we don't have 20 years to do it," Kirchner had said in a strongly worded speech. Then, he added that it was time for the military "to sort the wheat from the chaff," in reference to those suspected of abuses.
There are around 110 officers accused of human rights abuses, that are being required by foreign governments as France, Italy, Sweden, USA, Spain, Germany and others. While they cannot be tried in
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