Skip to comments.Former Argentine Junta Leader Dies at 81
Posted on 06/21/2005 3:21:20 PM PDT by Borges
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Retired Gen. Guillermo Suarez Mason, a former junta commander under arrest in connection with probes of suspected illegal adoptions dating to the past dictatorship, died Tuesday. He was 81.
As former commander of Argentina's First Army Corps, Suarez Mason was facing an investigation into accusations of illegal adoptions of children born to women detained during the 1976-83 dictatorship.
He also had been under past investigation by courts looking into the 1980 disappearances of some 20 armed leftist guerrillas during the military's systematic crackdown on dissent known as the Dirty War.
Suarez Mason was being held at a Buenos Aires prison when he was rushed to the Central Military Hospital over the weekend after complaining of abdominal pains, local reports said.
His lawyer, Adolfo Casabal Elias, told news agency Diarios y Noticias that he had suffered cardiac arrest early Tuesday.
Suarez Mason was commander of the First Army Corps from 1976 until 1979 at the height of the state's systematic crackdown on dissent. The Corps had command of so-called Zone One, including the capital and populous outlying areas, at a time when human rights groups claimed dozens of clandestine torture centers operated there illegally.
Officially some 12,000 people died or disappeared during the military junta's campaign against leftists and other dissidents, but human rights groups claim the toll approached 30,000.
Suarez Mason had held under house arrest for years while undergoing investigation into accusations of illegal adoptions. But he had recently been sent to the Devoto prison in Buenos Aires after authorities said he violated terms of his detention.
Following Argentina's dictatorship, many military officers were tried on charges of torture, disappearances and other abuses and meted out life prison sentences. Most were imprisoned in 1985 and later pardoned in 1990 by then-President Carlos Menem.
Suarez Mason, who fled Argentina after the dictatorship only to be extradited from the United States in 1988, was included in the pardon. He had proclaimed his innocence of any crimes.
Several of the junta's top leaders, including Suarez Mason, were subsequently placed under detention or house arrest in the late 90s on charges of kidnapping children belonging to mothers who "disappeared" during the military's rule.
Those investigations came under a loophole in 1980s amnesty laws.
On June 15, Argentina's Supreme Court struck down the amnesty laws as violating international norms that require states to guarantee human rights and punish abuses.
"Juntas" were/are common in South America?!?
You don't say!
Most of those killed in the "Dirty War" were Marxist Terrorists.
But the Tango goes on forever.
I read somewhere that they used to "drug them up" then toss them into the Atlantic Ocean out the back of C-130s....
Maybe it was movie...
Que se pudra.
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