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Former Argentine officer is tried in a slaughter case in Miami

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The Associated Press

Associated Press

Gisela Salomon And Debora Rey

Miami (AP) — Former Argentine Navy officer in Miami on Monday on suspicion of his role in the 1972 political prisoner slaughter In his hometown to be tried.

Roberto Guillermo Bravo, who has lived in the United States for decades, is the only former Argentine military officer accused of participating in what is known as the Trelew massacre, which has not yet faced justice. is. The other three were convicted in Argentina and sentenced to life imprisonment.

"For nearly 50 years, the families of the victims of the Trelew massacre have been waiting for all perpetrators to face accountability," said a lawyer at the Center for Justice and Accountability. Katerina Siefkas said. On behalf of the plaintiffs

"Our clients want them the opportunity to present their long-denied stories and achieve justice." She said.

Bravo's long skirt trial in his hometown, as Argentine law prohibits anyone from being tried if it does not exist. The United States rejected Argentina's request to hand over Bravo in 2010, but he is now subject to a civil trial filed under the Torture Victim Protection Act.

More than 12 witnesses will testify in US federal court about what happened at the Almirantezar Naval Base in Trelew, Patagonia, in August 1972.

Bravo and other former troops According to a complaint filed in federal court in Miami in October 2020, police officers shot dead 16 unarmed political prisoners and seriously injured three others. It is said that it was made.

In the official version of the case, political prisoners claimed to have tried to escape, but after democracy revived in 1973, the three survivors regained their freedom. , I told another story. These three were later kidnapped and killed by the military after the 1976 coup brought Argentina's last military dictatorship.

The four plaintiffs are relatives of Raquel Camps, Eduardo Cappello, Alicia Krueguer and Marcela Santucho. Bonnet, Capello and Santucho were among the murdered people, but the camp was one of the first three survivors.

Bravo left Argentina in 1973. He first worked as a military attaché in Argentina, stayed in the United States after his retirement and became a citizen in 1987.

The civil trial, which begins on Monday, is financial compensation for damages caused by Bravo's alleged role in the killings.

His lawyer claims that the killing was not a slaughter, but the result of a shootout between military officers and a group of guerrillas trying to escape prison. There is.

Bravo said, "Always an honest and contributing businessman with a clean record. He continues to forcefully deny these false allegations, and this proceeding and him. We actively defend our honor, "Neil Sonnet said when the proceedings were filed in 2020. When the guerrilla group on the left side started operating Argentina. Human rights groups say they set the stage for widespread human rights violations that took place during Argentina's last military dictatorship between 1976 and 1983.

After the abolition of the Amnesty Act that protected military officers in 2003, Argentine law enforcement officials began formally investigating Trelew's murder.

Three other former military officers — Luis Sosa, Emilio Del Real and Carlos Marandino — were accused of participating in the massacre and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Plaintiffs' legal complaints in US proceedings allege that Bravo threatened, tortured, undressed, and simulated executions of prisoners.

It is written that on August 22, 1972, Bravo and three other officers entered the prisoner's cell while sleeping and ordered them to leave the wall and line up while looking at the ground. I am.

"Some fled to their cell. Bravo and other police officers searched the cell for survivors to execute them," the complaint said.

Plaintiffs state that their goal is not economical.

"They really want Mr Bravo to return to Argentina for trial," said Ajay Krishnan, a law firm on behalf of the plaintiffs. "But if they can't get it and they still can't get it, they do what they have to do. It's a trial at the moment."

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Ray reported from Buenos Aires, Argentina.