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Following the faint trail of torture

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dArKeR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-19-05 11:20 PM
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Following the faint trail of torture
Before they killed him and dumped his body in a still-unknown location, the Argentine security agents responsible for the death of Jose Poblete toyed with him like a cat plays with a mouse. Poblete had lost his legs in an accident, and in torture sessions his captors would dump him out of his wheelchair, mock him as he lay on the floor and call him "Shorty."

For nearly 30 years, Poblete's relatives have been blocked in their efforts to bring his tormentors to justice. But last month, the Argentine Supreme Court, acting in response to a complaint brought on behalf of his family, declared two amnesty laws from the 1980s to be unconstitutional. Now the Poblete case, which has been detailed in testimony from fellow prisoners who survived, along with hundreds more like it, is to be revived.

Yet as the initial euphoria at the revocation of the so-called "full stop" and "due obedience" laws dies down, human-rights groups are realizing that a long and complicated process awaits them. As many as 30,000 people were killed or disappeared during the "dirty war" the Argentine military waged against opponents from 1976 to 1983, in many cases eliminating all records and traces of its actions in an effort to create hurdles for any future complainants.

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