Former navy captain Alfredo Astiz AKA “Blond Angel of Death” went on trial Dec. 10 with 18 other former police and military officers charged with crimes against humanity during Argentina’s 1976-1983 “dirty war.” Astiz, whose nickname came from his cherubic looks when in the 1970s he infiltrated human rights groups whose members were later abducted, is charged in the killings of two French nuns, and the disappearance of dozens—including an Argentine journalist, a Swedish adolescent, and the founder of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo movement, Azucena Villaflor. With his co-defendants, Astiz is accused of overseeing abuses at the Navy Mechanics School detention center. Dozens of people, among them relatives of people who disappeared, attended the opening of the trial, holding pictures of the victims. (BBC News, Dec. 12; AFP, Dec. 11)
See our last post on Argentina’s “dirty war” legacy.