High Ranking Officers arrested in Argentina --- campaign needed

Armand Diego causebellum at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 28 18:50:08 MDT 2003


FYI: sent out by JP.  Those interested in working on
this issue can contact the "December 19 Argentinean
Solidarity Committee" at alternative at sbcglobal.net or
join their yahoo group at
solidaridadargentina at yahoogroups.com

------- forwarded message -------

Little noticed outside the country, more than 40 high
ranking officers of the Argentinean Army had been
arrested to stand trial in other countries for killing
citizens of those countries during the so-called
"dirty war."

There are presently 150 warrants for the arrest of as
many high ranking officers from the navy, the Army and
the Air Force. So far, two of the officers tried to
commit suicide when they went to arrest them, another
one fled the country and another one - who was
recently elected as Mayor of the City of Tucuman - was
humiliated when his "elected official immunity" was
denied.

This wave of arrests are due to the pressure by
European governments over the Kirchner administration
*combined* with the fact that Kirchner himself was
arrested during the dirty war and number of his
friends and some relatives were murdered at that time.
Kirchner, as I reported before, is a former member -
with his wife - of the Montoneros surface
organizations of the 70s.

Now, this is a case that the left should deal with
seriously. Not only in Argentina but in Europe. I have
no direct info as to why exactly the government is
doing this, but it needs to be pushed to complete the
job.

These high ranking officers are among the worst of the
officer corps of the 70s. They are responsible of at
least the murdering of 30,000 people and forced exile
of about half a million Argentineans. They
decimated the left (of all colors and ideologies), the
militant trade unions and the intellectual milieu.

The Presidential executive order by Kirchner simply
repealed a previous presidential order by Menem (when
he was President) stating that high ranking officers
of the Armed Forces could ONLY be tried by
the Argentinean courts for crimes committed on
Argentinean soil. The catch 22 is that in Argentina
they were pardoned. So, no trials.

Kirchner executive order simply repeal the previous
order from Menem and open the floodgate for European
governments to ask those officers to be deported to
face trial in Europe.

Since Menem's order, the lower courts have repealed
the pardon laws, but the Supreme Court, dominated by
Justices appointed by Menem had not revised the cases
just as yet.

I will collect the positions of the Argentinean left
parties around this issue - some of them very shameful
as they are attacking the intentions of the government
rather than mounting a campaign of pressure to finish
the job - but meanwhile I would ask if people
have any information about what the European left
groups and parties are doing around this issue. Why?

They are two barriers for the deportation of these
thugs to Europe to face trial there. One is that a
number of them are requested by several European
countries. The process to decide to which country
they will be deported could take years. A number of
Argentineans who are survivors of the "dirty war" are
asking for the left in Europe to demand an agreement
of the European governments not to fight for
priority in the deportation procedures, but to demand
they will deported consecutively. This is to say, to
any country with second and third preferences given to
the other countries requesting them for trial in order
to avoid delaying the deportations.

Kirchner's government may use these delays to leave
the whole thing exhaust itself. A campaign of pressure
to demand executive treatment of this issue is of
paramount importance.



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