Argentina judges ex-marine for almost 400 crimes committed at ESMA

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A court in Buenos Aires began this Wednesday the trial of a former Navy Intelligence officeraccused of crimes against humanity committed against 398 people at the former Navy School of Mechanics (ESMA) during the last civil-military dictatorship (1976-1983).

The trial of the ESMA V case, directed by the Federal Oral Court 5, is carried forward against Jorge Luis Guarrochena, who was a member of the Naval Intelligence Service, and who was left as the only defendant after the death of Gerardo Enrique Ferrer, former head of ESMA Ceremonial Company B, who was going to be tried for 372 facts.

Guarrochena is being prosecuted as a necessary participant in skidnapping, torture, imposition of torture followed by death, illegal deprivation of liberty resulting in death and appropriations committed in the ESMA.

The ex-marine served in the Intelligence Headquarters of the Naval Intelligence Service (SIIN) and in the Naval Intelligence Headquarters (JEIN) of the General Staff of the Navy, worked in counterintelligence areas and as liaison with the Army Intelligence headquarters and with Battalion 601.

Photo: Secretary of Human Rights of the Nation

Survivors of the ESMA -considered one of the main clandestine centers of imprisonment and torture during the regime- They recognized Guarrochena with the alias "Raúl" and under the false name of "Carlos Alberto Encina".

The victims declared having seen the defendant at various time periods during the last dictatorship, in which he acted in the Intelligence and Operations areas of the task force that worked at ESMA.

This is the sixth oral trial for crimes against humanity committed at ESMAwith more than 60 members of the repressive forces convicted of the events that resulted in more than a thousand people being victims.

In Argentina they are taking 16 oral trials at this time, in different provinces, while some 1,168 repressors have already been sentenced in court for crimes against humanity, from 1985 to the present, according to official data.

Photo: Pexels

Argentina carried out the historic Trial of the Juntas in 1985, but later published the Laws of Due Obedience and Full Stop, between 1986 and 1987 and The Executive granted pardons to the members of the military Juntas in 1990.

With the annulment of the Due Obedience and Full Stop laws in 2003 and the Supreme Court's declaration of unconstitutionality in 2005, the process of reopening trials for crimes against humanity was consolidated which started in 2006.

According to human rights organizations, some 30,000 people were, without going to trial, disappeared, tortured and thrown into the sea; controversial figures due to the contrast with official state data - which register some 9,000 disappeared - and by those who relativize the dictatorship.

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