Six Argentinians given life sentences for crimes against humanity

Buenos Aires (AFP) –


Six Argentinians were handed life sentences Friday, convicted of committing crimes against humanity during rightwing military rule from 1976-1983.

During that period Argentina suffered one of the most brutal dictatorships in Latin America, which saw 30,000 people forcibly kidnapped according to human rights organizations.

Judges at a federal court in northern Argentina's Tucuman jailed 10 of 17 people accused of involvement in the so-called "Operation Independence." Three others who were supposed to go on trial died.

During the regime some 500 children were illegally taken from their families, according to the human rights group Grandmothers de Plaza de Mayo, which continues to search for the missing children.

Among the victims' family members in court during the sentencing were women who were pregnant when the regime began and whose children are still unaccounted for.

Meanwhile, hundreds of activists and family members demonstrated outside the court, chanting calls for prison sentences for "every genocidal person walking the streets of Argentina."