Trial of the Juntas

Trial of the Juntas

The Trial of the Juntas (Spanish, "Juicio a las Juntas") was the judicial trial of the members of the "de facto" military government that ruled Argentina during the dictatorship of the Proceso de Reorganización Nacional, which lasted from 1976 to 1983.

The Trial of the Juntas began on April 22, 1985, during the presidential administration of Raúl Alfonsín. The main prosecutors were Julio César Strassera and his assistant Luis Moreno Ocampo. The trial was presided by a group of six judges: Carlos Arslanián, Jorge Torlasco, Ricardo Gil Lavedra, Andrés D'Alessio, Jorge Valerga Aráoz and Guillermo Ledesma.

The dictatorship was in fact a series of several military governments under four juntas. The 4th Junta, before calling for elections and relinquishing power to the democratic authorities, passed a Self-Amnesty Law and a secret decree that dictated the destruction of much evidence of their past crimes. Three days after his inauguration (1983-12-13), President Alfonsín passed Decree No. 158, mandating the initiation of legal accusations and trial against the nine military officers of the first three juntas (not the 4th).

This trial is so far the only example of such a procedure and in such a scale against a former dictatorial government in Latin America. It largely succeeded in proving the crimes of the juntas, which included forced disappearance, torture and murder of thousands of people. Most of the top officers who were tried were sentenced to life imprisonment: Jorge Rafael Videla, Emilio Eduardo Massera, Roberto Eduardo Viola, Armando Lambruschini, Raúl Agosti, Rubén Graffigna, Leopoldo Galtieri, Jorge Anaya and Basilio Lami Dozo. They were later pardoned by president Carlos Menem in 1989–1990.

ee also

*Ley de Obediencia Debida
*Ley de Punto Final


* "Juicio a las Juntas" in the Spanish Wikipedia.
* [ Decree No. 158] - Presidential decree that mandated the prosecution of the juntas.
* [ Interview] with Julio César Strassera.
* Clarín, 2005-12-09. [ "Un revelador documental recordó el histórico juicio a las Juntas."]

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