24 December 2010
Merry Christmas Mr Videla Ho Ho Ho!
The Telegraph reports that Argentine dictator Jorge Videla, has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Videla, 85, ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1981 and was the architect of the "dirty war" during which around 30,000 people were murdered. However, he was convicted for the murder of 31 prisoners who were pulled from civilian jail cells and "shot while trying to escape" in the period after his regime toppled president Isabel Peron.
"Videla ... is a manifestation of state terrorism," judge Maria Elba Martinez said as she handed down the sentence in the central Argentine city of Cordoba.
The former dictator remained unrepentant, telling the court the day before his sentencing that Argentine society had demanded the crackdown to prevent a Marxist revolution and claiming that the country was now run by "terrorists".
Videla also defiantly told the court that he was a political prisoner and denied human rights violations despite saying he accepted "full responsibility" for his actions as his subordinates were only following orders.
He was ordered to be detained for the rest of his life in a federal jail under civilian rather than military rules, denying him any special privileges.
Videla was previously tried and sentenced to life in prison in 1985 but was pardoned five years later by the then-president, Carlos Menem. Three years ago a court ruled that the pardon was unconstitutional, paving the way for the latest trial.
It is a shame that Videla isn’t repentant. That would have made his incarceration all the more miserable. However, that he has been sent to prison is will just have to be good enough..
Perhaps his cell should be decorated with a life size photograph of Dgmar Hagelin (above), the 18 year old Swedish girl who was murdered in the ESMA torture camp.
One thing that irritates me is that while fellow leftists screamed blue murder (quite rightly) about the scumbag Pinochet, there was hardly been a peep about the murderous regime in Argentina.
Oh well. I look forward to reading his obituary in at least 15 years time