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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-30-08 07:50 PM
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'Dirty war' witness goes missing
'Dirty war' witness goes missing


1 May 2008

AUTHORITIES are "very concerned" over the disappearance of a second witness to abuses carried out by military dictators in Argentina's "dirty war," President Cristina Kirchner said today.

Juan Puthud, 50, a human rights activist who lost an eye after he was kidnapped and tortured at 18 years of age, was last seen yesterday as he was heading to work in Zarate, 90 kilometres north of Buenos Aires, his parents reported to police.

He was a witness in ongoing trials against "dirty war" offenders. Another witness and torture victim Jorge Julio Lopez, 77, has been missing since September 18, 2007.

Then president Nestor Kirchner - husband of the current president - blamed Mr Lopez's disappearance last year on criminals "linked to state terrorism", a term used to describe the old military dictatorship that ruled from 1976 to 1983.

Referring to Mr Puthod's disappearance, Cristina Kirchner, in a speech in southern Santa Cruz, said her administration was "very concerned ... because a key witness in human rights trials has disappeared".

Buenos Aires Governor Daniel Scioli said an all out effort was underway to locate Mr Puthod, who was in "fragile health because of his heart and eyes, as a result of the tortures he suffered".

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