In response to an extradition requested issued by the Spanish courts, an Argentine judge ordered the arrest of 46 former officials responsible for crimes against humanity under the juntas regime of the seventies.
The Argentine judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral yesterday decided to accept an extradition request issued by his Spanish counterpart, Baltasar Garzon, and submitted 46 capture orders to bring to justice former officials responsible for tortures and assassinations under the dictatorial regime of the seventies. Forty-five are top former military officers, including dictators Jorge Rafael Videla and the navy chief Emilio Massera, as one is civilian with strong links to the killers.
The list also includes former navy officer Alfredo Astiz, who assassinated four French nuns in
In order to crackdown a possible protest from the military, the Argentine Minister of Defense, Jose Pampuro instructed Armed Forces' chiefs to observe judge ruling. President Kirchner, on trip in the
Judge Garzon is investigating alleged crimes of genocide and torture against Spanish nationals in
According to estimations made by local and international human rights organizations, up to 30,000 people were killed or disappeared in the Argentine military's campaign against what it called left-wing insurgents. Garzon's request says that "military groups, in connection to police forces, intelligence services and civilians masterminded and carried on a systematic criminal plan" to physically eradicate citizens from 1975 to 1983.
Today, some of the junta leaders are under house arrest facing other charges, as the dictator Jorge Rafael Videla (1976-1981). Emilio Massera, one of the symbols of the illegal repression and disappearing of people, has been in coma for several months and is still under medical control. Thus, it is not clear how he will serve the sentence.
More recently, Baltasar Garzon secured the extradition of former Argentine military officer, Ricardo Cavallo, from
When Garzon announced his intentions to bring Argentine genocide killers to
It is expected that Kirchner will overturn the decree that blocks extradition and will leave the file in the hands of the local courts to decide.