Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jorge Videla Finally Sent Back Where He Belongs

This is just outstanding news:

Former Argentine dictator Jorge Rafael Videla was taken to a military prison Friday, after a federal judge revoked the benefit of house arrest that he had enjoyed for 10 years.

Court sources said that Videla, 83, was taken to the Campo de Mayo military prison near Buenos Aires, in line with a decision by federal judge Norberto Oyarbide.

Videla was charged with kidnapping the children of political opponents and leftists, and putting them up for adoption. The children disappeared during his dictatorship from 1976-1983. According to human rights organizations, the military regime caused the disappearance of an estimated 30,000 people - most have never been traced.

Argentine law grants the benefit of house arrest to people over 70. But judge Oyarbide said that the military jail at Campo de Mayo "has the equipment, infrastructure and personnel required" to handle any medical emergencies that the elderly Videla might have.

Argentina has done an outstanding (if belated) job of going after criminals for crimes committed (including by clergy) during its 1976-1983 dictatorship, undoing a lot of the damage done by Carlos Menem's inexcusable and unforgiveable 1990 pardon. Videla should have spent the last 23 years in prison, and while he has been under house arrest for the last 10 years. While he is 83, it's excellent to see that he will spend the rest of his life (as he was sentenced to do in 1985) in prison for the crimes he committed as the head of one of Latin America's most murderous, repressive states ever.