Argentina officially indicts civilians for role in 'dirty war'


A rural Buenos Aires farmhouse used as a clandestine prison during Argentina's eight-year military dictatorship is now part of history.

This spring owners of the farmhouse, a pair of brothers, became the first civilians convicted of crimes against humanity committed during the country's "dirty war," during which thousands of the Junta’s suspected political opponents were killed.

Almost 35 years after lawyer Carlos Moreno was tortured and killed on their property, brothers Emilio and Julio Mendez were sentenced to 15 and 11 years in jail, respectively. The sentence spoke unconventionally of a “civil-military” dictatorship, reflecting a shift toward a "matured” model of justice that distributes blame for dictatorship-era crimes beyond those in uniform, experts say.

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Christian Science Monitor