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Italy convicts eight South Americans in Plan Condor trial

An Italian court has given life sentences to eight South American former political and military leaders over the disappearance of 23 Italian nationals during the 70s and 80s.

Those sentenced include ex-presidents of Bolivia and Peru, and a former foreign minister from Uruguay.

All had cooperated in Operation Condor, run by military governments at the time to fight left-wing dissidents.

Another 19 men were absolved in the trial, that lasted two years.

Several of those sentenced are already serving jail time at home and none appeared in court.
They include former Bolivian President Luis Garcia Meza Tejada who is now 87 and serving a 30-year prison sentence in La Paz, as well as former Peruvian President, Francisco Morales Bermudez, who is now 95.

Mr Garcia Meza's lawyer has said he will appeal.

One of the Italian prosecutors, Tiziana Cugini, told the Reuters news agency the trial had thrown a clear light on Operation Condor, which he called a "criminal conspiracy".

"It's very significant, especially given that heads of state from the time were convicted."

The Vice-President of Uruguay, Raul Sendic said he was disappointed by the sentence but would respect it.

"The Uruguayan government is feeling tranquil because we did everything that had to be done to present proof and witnesses and support the families of the victims."

The trial involved hundreds of witnesses. Martin Almada, a Paraguayan who had given evidence said the outcome was "lamentable and incomprehensible".

BBC      News.

This post first appeared on Quest Times, please read the originial post: here

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Italy convicts eight South Americans in Plan Condor trial


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