Former Argentine naval officer ,58-year-old Adolfo Scilingo, was convicted of "crimes against humanity" for throwing 30 naked drugged POW's from a planes to their deaths in the Atlantic Ocean during his country's "dirty war".
The AP reports that, "the verdict closes Spain's first trial under a law that says crimes against humanity can be tried in the country even if they are alleged to have been committed elsewhere part of a growing body of international legislation that also has been applied for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia."
Scilingo first told a journalits about these "death flights" in 1995 but wasn't remanded for trial until 2001. Scilingo had been on a hunger strike since late 2004.
Baltasar Garzon, the Spanish magistrate who brought the indictment, earlier sought to prosecute former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet under the same law.
Mr Garzon is spearheading a campaign to try officials linked to
Between 10,000 and 30,000 people deemed to have been left-wing opponents of the Argentine regime were killed or vanished between 1976 and 1983.So why didn't the U.S. step up during the dirty war and stop the right wing juntas from committing these awful "crimes against humanity". Because we were on their side. They were anti-communist.
According to wikipedia, "when Ronald Reagan assumed the presidency of the United States in 1981, he was quick to reverse former President Jimmy Carter's condemnation of the regime's record on human rights and to authorize CIA collaboration with the Argentine intelligence service for training and arming the Nicaraguan Contras. (see Iran-Contra Affair)".I wonder what would have happened had a leftist juanta been committing these crimes?
Nevertheless, I am glad that Spain has decided to serve justice and start putting these human rights abusers on trial. This Spanish law is really interesting. It says that crimes against humanity, no matter where they are committed, can be tried.
We here in the good old US don't much care for that line of thinking. (see Guantanamo Bay and extrodinary rendition).