Three Argentinian military leaders were sentenced to jail for their role in a baby stealing scheme.
July 6, 2012– Three long jail sentences were handed down by a court in Argentina on Thursday. The court found three former figures of the “Dirty War” guilty of stealing babies. The thefts were from prisoners held for political reasons during a 1976 to 1983 dictatorship.
The children were taken from their parents and then illegally adopted. Often times the children were adopted into families of the military. The children remain a painful reminder of the dictatorships that existed in the South American country in which some believe more than 30,000 people lost their lives due to dissent against the regime.
About 100 children have been able to discover their identities, but many parents continue searching for their children who were taken from them over thirty years ago. Activists believe several hundred more people may have been stolen as children and are not aware of their true identities.
Eleven defendants were involved in the case that ended on Thursday. Amongst the defendants were the leaders of the junta Reynaldo Bignone who is 84, Jorge Rafeal Videla who is 88 and Jorge Acosta who is 71. The three are already serving time for previous conviction for human rights violations.
In Thursday’s sentencing, Videla received 50 years, Acosta 30 and Bignone 15. Videla was the mastermind of the plan. The remaining eight defendants received jail terms of varying lengths.