Argentina: “dirty war” witness murdered

On the morning of March 29 unidentified people assaulted and stabbed Silvia Suppo in her crafts shop in the small town of Rafaela in Argentina’s northeastern Santa Fe province; she suffered 22 knife wounds and died later that day in a hospital.

As a teenager Suppo was kidnapped, tortured and raped by the military during the “dirty war” carried out against leftists by a 1976-1983 military dictatorship. Recently Suppo was a witness in the trial of former federal Víctor Brusa, Juan Calixto Perizotti, Héctor Colombini, María Eva Aebi, Mario Facino and Eduardo Ramos, who on Dec. 21, 2009 were given prison sentences of 19 to 21 years for the crimes they had committed against her in the 1970s. Suppo was also pursuing the case of Reinaldo Hammeter, her companion at the time of her kidnapping; he was kidnapped and disappeared on Jan. 25, 1977.

Police say some objects were missing from the shop, pointing to a robbery, but Supppo’s friends and local human rights activists considered the killing political. This was “a murder in her capacity as a witness,” said attorney Lucila Puyol, from H.I.J.O.S. Santa Fe, the local branch of an organization dedicated to seeking justice for the crimes of the dictatorship. (La Jornada, Mexico, April 2 from correspondent; H.I.J.O.S. communiqué, March 30 via

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Apr. 4.

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