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 Sunday, 12 January, 2003, 14:50 GMT
Former Argentine dictator Galtieri dies
General Galtieri in 1982
Galtieri was arrested in July on human rights charges
The former Argentine dictator who in 1982 triggered a war with Britain over the Falkland Islands, Leopoldo Galtieri, has died at the age of 76.

He was suffering from cancer of the pancreas, but sources at the military hospital in Buenos Aires where he was being cared for say he died of heart failure.

Galtieri was the third of four generals to run Argentina between 1976 and 1983.

During that time 30,000 people disappeared, in what became known as the Dirty War.

Galtieri was president from 1981 to 1982, and ordered the invasion of the Falkland Islands, known in Argentina as the Malvinas, sparking a 10-week war with Britain.

Rearrested

The former president was tried for human rights abuses in 1985 - but was not jailed until the following year, for "incompetence" during the Falklands War.

Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo
Mothers of dirty war victims demanded justice
He was freed in 1990, following a pardon granted by then-president Carlos Menem.

The BBC's Peter Greste in Buenos Aires says Galtieri lived the last years of his life in relative obscurity until a judge ordered his arrest last July.

He was among former officials prosecuted in a new investigation of alleged human rights abuses in 1980.

He was placed under house arrest because of his health.

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  The BBC's James Robbins
"Defeat forced him from power"
  Jimmy Burns, Journalist
"There was a huge climate of fear"
  Celia Szusterman, Westminster University
"He was responsible for leading Argentina into the worst military adventure"
See also:

13 Jan 03 | Media reports
25 Mar 01 | Americas
12 Jul 02 | Americas
12 Jul 02 | Media reports
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