December 22, 2010
Jorge Videla, 85, was Argentina's president from 1976 to 1981 and was considered the architect of the so called "Dirty War" , the war the regime said to be against subversive terrorism .
He was found guilty of torture and murder among other crimes. The 31 prisoners he was convicted of killing were pulled from civilian jail cells and "shot while trying to escape".
During Videla's regime, an estimated 5,000 prisoners were held incomunicado, most of them were tortured and their bodies "disappeared" . It was later revealed that they were dumped , dead or drugged, into the River Plate from aircraft.
After the sentence Videla remained unrepentant and told the court that Argentine society had demanded the crackdown on dissents.
As judge Maria Elba Martinez handed down the sentence she said:
"Videla ... is a manifestation of state terrorism."
Another leader in Argentina's 1976-1983 military junta, Emilio Massera, died on Monday at age 85.
Massera was head of the Navy and operated one of Argentina's most notorious political prison and torture centre, the Naval Mechanics School in Buenos Aires, or ESMA.
Germany, Spain, Italy and France sought Massera over the killings of their citizens during the torture regime in Argentina. They had suspended arrest orders after Argentine courts had declared him unfit to stand trial on health grounds.
Ex-Argentine dictator Jorge Videla gets life sentence for torture, murder of prisoners in 1976
December 22, 2010 - Michael Warren, The Associated Press
The New York Times:
Ex-Dictator Sentenced in Murders
December 23, 2010 - By ALexei Barrionuevo
The Telegraph UK
Former Argentine dictator Jorge Videla sentenced to life in prison
December 23, 2010 - By Robin Yapp
Former Argentine dictator sentenced to life
December 22, 2010