Academic journal article Current Politics and Economics of South and Central America

Argentina 2013 Human Rights Report *

Academic journal article Current Politics and Economics of South and Central America

Argentina 2013 Human Rights Report *

Article excerpt

U.S. Department of State; Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom From

a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life

There were reports of deaths as a result of the police's use of unwarranted or excessive force. Federal security forces have the authority to conduct internal investigations into alleged abuses and to fire individuals who have allegedly committed a human rights violation.

On September 30, two policemen from the metropolitan police and Buenos Aires province police force shot and killed a 29-year-old man after an argument. The security secretary asserted that one of the policemen intentionally fired his weapon, and remanded the case to the judge to investigate.

The NGO Coordinator Against Police Repression (CORREPI) reported in July that security forces using excessive force killed 56 persons during the first half of the year. The Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) reported deaths as a result of police using unwarranted or excessive force in the city of Buenos Aires and Buenos Aires Province during the first half of the year.

b. Disappearance

There were no reports of politically motivated disappearances.

Authorities continued to investigate and prosecute individuals implicated in disappearances, killings, and torture committed during the 1976-83 military dictatorship (widely referred to as the "Dirty War"). Investigations into the "systematic plan" of the military dictatorship, including the appropriation of children of detainees and the killing of detainees on "death flights," continued or began during the year. CELS estimated that 381 judicial investigations were active by May, in which 2,088 persons were charged for crimes against humanity. According to the Attorney General's Office for Follow-up on Crimes Against Humanity, from January to October the courts convicted 76 individuals for committing human rights abuses during the 1976-83 period and continued trials that were suspended in 1989-90 when the government issued a blanket pardon. For example, in September a criminal court of appeals upheld a conviction for the torture and murder of Carlos Moreno, a union representative and worker at the Loma Negra company. The tribunal sentenced three former army officials and two civilians to prison for their involvement in the case, ruling for the first time since these cases resumed that civilians had participated in crimes against humanity.

Judicial authorities continued to investigate cases of kidnapping and illegal adoption of children born to detained dissidents by members of the former military dictatorship. In April a judge sentenced a couple who illegally adopted the son of a disappeared family to six years in prison. The individual who illegally offered the baby to the couple also faced charges for identity theft. The NGO Abuelas de la Plaza de Mayo reported the number of persons illegally adopted by former military officials and later identified and made aware of their background increased to 109 of an estimated 500 born to detained and missing dissidents during the former military dictatorship.

The Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF) continued cooperation with the government in the identification of remains of Dirty War victims. In August the National Institute of Industrial Technology (INTI) and the EAAF signed an agreement for INTI to provide technical support and assistance to the EAAF.

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

The law prohibits torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment and provides penalties for torture similar to those for homicide. Nevertheless, international organizations, CELS, the Office of the National Public Prosecutor, and the Buenos Aires Provincial Memory Commission's Committee Against Torture (an autonomous office established by the provincial government) reported complaints of torture perpetrated by provincial and federal prison officials. …

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