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I'd like to share, if I may, the experience of a friend in Argentina, in the hope that it might keep us committed to the fight for justice, even though the odds may seem insurmountable and the battle interminable....

Almost 30 years ago, on November 5, 1976, my friend's sister and brother-in-law were kidnapped by the security forces of the military dictatorship that ruled Argentina at that time.  In a clandestine prison, they were subjected to torture and rape, before being summarily executed with gunshots to the head, two among the estimated 30,000 people who suffered similar fates.  They left behind an infant daughter.

Justice may at last be found...below the fold...

Miguel Etchecolatz ran several of these torture camps, and was directly responsible for these two deaths, among many others.  He is at last on trial for his crimes, thanks to 30 years of efforts by Argentine human rights groups such as the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo and the Association of Ex-Detained/Disappeared.

Etchecolatz actually had been tried in the mid-1980s, but was freed when the government passed a general amnesty under pressure from the military.  After almost 20 years of demanding justice, last year the Argentine congress finally repealed those amnesties and the repeal was affirmed by the Supreme Court.  Etchecolatz is the first of what is hoped will be many to finally face justice.

My friend writes (my translation from the Spanish): "Although I it's been difficult to listen to the many accounts of my sister's torture and murder these past days, I want to thank everyone for the enormous support I and my family have received.  It has allowed me to transform this horror into a feeling of pride, peacefulness, I would almost say happiness.  It's hard to explain, but I feel good...and it would not have been possible without you."

Justice is worth fighting for, no matter how long it takes.

Originally posted to DebtorsPrison on Sat Jul 08, 2006 at 08:57 PM PDT.

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