Military dictators found guilty in Argentina baby-stealing trial

Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

An Argentinian court Thursday found two former dictators guilty of stealing dozens of babies during the country’s dirty war.

Jorge Rafael Videla, who ruled as a dictator between 1976 to 1981, was sentenced to 50 years in prison. Gen. Reynaldo Benito Bignone, who ruled the country from June 1982 until the nation’s return to democracy in December 1983, was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

They were the two most high-profile defendants found guilty Thursday of systematically stealing babies from political prisoners and giving them new identities.

It was the worst, the most perverse of the dictatorship, I think, what they did with us,” said Francisco Madariaga Quintela, 35, one of the stolen babies who was reunited with his father in 2010. “It was a torture prolonged through time, for the grandmothers searching, for family members, everyone…”

“It was was we were asking for. We never asked for revenge. We never hated. We never asked for anything more than justice, and we have been fighting for 36 years,” one father said.

The accusations stem from the country’s “Dirty War” from 1976 to 1983. During those years of military dictatorship, up to 30,000 students, labor leaders, intellectuals and leftists disappeared or were held in secret jails and torture centers.

The collusion of the United States in fascist corruption like this has yet to be dealt with — nothing more than words have touched our body politic, our systems dedicated to law and justice.

There will come a time…

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