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Jorge Rafael Videla convicted of baby thefts


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Is is cruel to think that maybe a more appropriate sentence for this b*****d would be to have him 'cared for' in his old age by some of the people whose lives he destroyed?


" Jorge Rafael Videla convicted of baby thefts Argentina took a giant leap forward in its struggle to come to terms with its bloody past during the 1976-83 dictatorship by condemning former dictator Jorge Videla to 50 years in prison for masterminding a plan for stealing the newborn children of political opponents and handing the babies over to be raised by "good" military families after killing their mothers.


The verdict on Thursday evening capped a 16-year trial during which hundreds of hours of testimony were heard proving that the kidnappings were not just collateral damage in the "civil war" between the military and leftwing guerrillas, as supporters of the dictatorship have claimed, but rather a deliberate policy put in place by the top leaders of the regime.


"The kidnapping of newly born babies is the last crime that former members of the military regime are willing to admit," says British journalist Robert Cox, who was one of the main witnesses at the trial last year. As editor of the small English-community daily Buenos Aires Herald in the late 1970s, Cox was one of the only journalists in Argentina who dared report on the crimes committed by the military as they happened, including their kidnapping of infants. "It's like the Nazis, what they did was so terrible they could never admit it," Cox said in Buenos Aires upon hearing the verdict that his testimony helped bring about.


The reading of the verdict was followed by a huge crowd outside the Buenos Aires court who viewed the proceedings on giant video screens set up on the street in a carnival-like atmosphere organised by human rights groups with some of Argentina's top rock bands playing to the assembled crowd after the verdict was heard.


Until now, top leaders of the regime such as Videla claimed that the kidnappings were haphazard occurrences not sanctioned by his regime, something that Cox refutes. "It was a plan because they set up these maternity wards expressly for that purpose in the camps were they held opponents. They try to make it sound as if they were being humane in saving the kids, but the kidnapping of babies is the one thing that even the most rightwing fascist-minded supporters of the dictatorship condemn."


Apart from Videla, other top leaders of the military regime received sentences ranging from 40 to 15 years, including Reynaldo Bignone, the last leader of the military junta in 1983, former general Santiago Riveros, who oversaw a number of death camps, Jorge Acosta, head of the ESMA death camp where a special maternity ward was set up to deliver many of the abducted babies, as well as doctor Jorge Magnacco, who delivered most of the babies born at the ESMA.


A total of 500 babies are believed to have been handed over to military families after their mothers were murdered by the dictatorship. So far, 105 of them, now all in their 30s, have been identified through DNA tests and united with their blood families through the efforts of the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, an association formed over three decades ago by the mothers of the missing women whose babies were stolen.


"This trial crowns many years of struggle by the Grandmothers," said Victoria Montenegro, who discovered her real identity and was united with her blood family in 2001. "I think the Grandmothers, now all in their 80s, deserve the Nobel peace prize for their brave and untiring work," added Cox.


One wife of a military officer who brought one such baby home 34 years ago claimed she never knew the baby was the son of a murdered political opponent. "My priority has always been my children, I feel I have three children although one is not my biological son," said Susana Colombo, who was sentenced to five years for the kidnapping of Francisco Madariaga, who only found out his real identity two years ago after growing up believing Colombo was his mother.


"This is justice, this is democracy, at last these people who did us so much damage are condemend, although personally it is a very difficult moment for me," said Madariaga in tears upon hearing the verdict.


Source: here




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I was listening to some of this on the radio yesterday. it was an interview with one of the few mothers who was in the camps and survived. they had the women make up packages for thier own babies to include presents. they also got to write letters to their familys telling them to look after the children as they had no idea when they would be free. The women had no idea that the babies were then given away. most of the women didn't make it out alive.


absolutley heartbreaking stuff.

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