An Argentine court on Feb. 28 commenced the trial of former dictators Jorge Videla and Reynaldo Bignone for allegedly overseeing a systematic plan to steal babies born to political prisoners during the nation’s 1976-1983 “Dirty War.” The two are accused in 34 separate cases of infants who were taken from mothers held in clandestine torture and detention centers, the Navy Mechanics School and Campo de Mayo army base. The case was opened 14 years ago at the request of Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, and includes as defendants five military judges and a doctor who attended to the detainees. The trial is expected to hear 370 witnesses and last up to a year. With the help of the Grandmothers’ DNA database, 102 people born to vanished detainees have recovered their true identities.
From Jurist, March 1. Used with permission.