[Fwd: [Cuba SI] US and stooge-Argentine Junta. Canada Communism**]
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Wed Dec 29 18:52:46 MST 1999
News * Analysis * Research * Action
MANUAL TELLS ARGENTINE JUNTA MEN 'DENY EVERYTHING'
World Headlines Tuesday, Dec 21, 1999 4 By Mayra Pertossi
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Former members of the Argentine military who
face court investigations into human rights crimes in the 1976-83
dictatorship are circulating a manual on how to avoid incriminating
themselves by "denying everything.''
A judge from the central province of Cordoba, investigating the fate
of hundreds of people who vanished after being taken to clandestine
torture centers, said on Tuesday the manual turned up during the
search of one former officer's home.
Judge Cristina Garzon de Lascano said the three-page manual is
called, "Ways of rejecting trials and judges and refusing to answer
questions even as simple witnesses.''
"They are instructions about how to respond: by refusing to recognize
the authority of civilian courts, denying everything and alleging
that you don't remember,'' the judge told Reuters.
Other tips included denying the existence of the clandestine
detention centers and blaming the horrors of the "Dirty War'' --
which the military waged against leftist guerrillas and their
suspected sympathizers -- on dead comrades-in-arms.
If questioned about the estimated 15,000-30,000 people who died or
"disappeared'' during the dictatorship, former officers were advised
to say the victims "fled abroad'' or "fell in combat.''
The manual argued, "It is not the courts' job to carry out historical
investigations, so judges have no authority to call us to testify.
They are not investigating crimes to be punished, it is mere
Garzon de Lascano said the instructions were circulated among former
military men in Cordoba, Argentina's second most-populated province,
who were likely to be summoned to give evidence about the precise
fate of Dirty War victims.
After democracy returned to Argentina in 1983, many military men and
police officers who waged the Dirty War were tried and sentenced for
their crimes. The most senior junta officers were given life
sentences in 1985.
A series of pardons in the 1980s set them free. But former officers
are being called as witnesses in "truth trials'' to establish what
became of the "disappeared'' and where their remains are, so their
families can finally bury them.
Other judges are investigating crimes not covered by the pardons,
such as theft of babies born to women detainees. These cases led to
the detention of nine elderly former top junta officers. Most of them
were put under house arrest.
Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved." JC
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