Trial of the Juntas
The Trial of the Juntas was the judicial trial of the members of the de facto military government that ruled Argentina during the dictatorship of the Proceso de Reorganizacion Nacional, which lasted from 1976 to 1983.
The Trial of the Juntas began on April 22, 1985, during the presidential administration of Raul Alfonsin. The main prosecutors were Julio Cesar Strassera and his assistant Luis Moreno Ocampo. The trial was presided by a group of six judges: Carlos Arslanian, Jorge Torlasco, Ricardo Gil Lavedra, Andres D'Alessio, Jorge Valerga Araoz and Guillermo Ledesma.
The dictatorship was in fact a series of several military governments under four juntas. The fourth junta, before calling for elections and relinquishing power to the democratic authorities, passed a Self-Amnesty Law and a secret decree that dictated the destruction of much evidence of their past crimes. Three days after his inauguration (1983-12-13), President Alfonsin passed Decree No. 158, mandating the initiation of legal accusations and trial against the nine military officers of the first three juntas, but not the fourth.
This trial is so far the only example of such a procedure and in such a scale against a former dictatorial government in Latin America. It largely succeeded in proving the crimes of the juntas, which included forced disappearance, torture and murder of thousands of people. Most of the top officers who were tried were sentenced to life imprisonment: Jorge Rafael Videla, Emilio Eduardo Massera, Roberto Eduardo Viola, Armando Lambruschini, Raul Agosti, Ruben Graffigna, Leopoldo Galtieri, Jorge Anaya and Basilio Lami Dozo. They were later pardoned by president Carlos Menem in 19891990.
Ley de Obediencia Debida
Ley de Punto Final
Decree No. 158 - Presidential decree that mandated the prosecution of the juntas.
Interview with Julio Cesar Strassera.
Clarin, 2005-12-09. Un revelador documental recordo el historico juicio a las Juntas.
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