May 25, 2013
Robbery of infants: Videla sentenced to 50 years in prison
Former De facto presidents Jorge Rafael Videla and Reynaldo Bignone were sentenced to 50 and 30 years in prison, respectively, over the robbery of infants during the "Dirty War."
Meanwhile, Jorge “Tigre” Acosta, who allegedly ran the navy centre’s torture sessions, to 15 years.
The sentences were read at the Comodoro Py Court House.
Videla and Bignone were accused in 34 cases of infants who were taken from mothers held in the largest clandestine torture and detention centre, the ESMA Navy Mechanics School in Buenos Aires City, “Pozo Banfield,” “La Cacha,” and the Campo de Mayo army base located in Western Greater Buenos Aires.
Videla, who is unrepentant about rights abuses committed by the state, described himself as a "political prisoner" during the trial and said any abductions that did take place were not part of a systematic plan.
"The women giving birth, who I respect as mothers, were militants who were active in the machine of terror," the former dictator said in his closing remarks. "Many used their unborn children as human shields."
Also on trial were Jorge Luis Magnacco, a doctor who worked in the Navy detention centre, sentenced also to 15 years in prison, and five prominent dictatorship figures: Antonio Vañek, the junta’s former navy attaché in Washington sentenced to 40 years; former army general Santiago Riveros, responsible for gathering intelligence from detainees at Campo de Mayo, sentenced to 20 years; and former coast guard uan Antonio Azic, who allegedly tortured detainees under Acosta’s direction, to 14 years in prison.