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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 July, 2004, 10:37 GMT 11:37 UK
Argentine junta member confined
By Nick Miles
BBC correspondent in Buenos Aires

Eduardo Albano Harguindeguy
Harguindeguy was in the government in 1976
A former Argentine minister has been put under house arrest over abuses during the 1970s military dictatorship.

Retired Gen Eduardo Albano Harguindeguy, who was then interior minister, refused to testify as part of an investigation into the abuses.

His arrest was ordered by Judge Jorge Urso, who is investigating killings and illegal detentions in the period.

This arrest is the result of some of the most comprehensive investigations into Argentina's violent past.

Mr Harguindeguy was the interior minister under Argentina's first military government, which took power in 1976.

Judge Urso ordered his arrest as part of his investigations into the workings of Operation Condor, an agreement between the right-wing military governments of six Latin American nations, including Argentina, during the 1970s.

Amnesty uncertainty

Under the agreement the six nations agreed to track down political dissidents on each other's soil, hundreds were repatriated and many of those were subsequently killed.

Human rights groups say that as many as 30,000 people were killed in the seven years of Argentina's military rule, many the victims of extrajudicial killings carried out by people associated with the military government.

Bringing to justice those accused of the atrocities of what has been called Argentina's "dirty war" was one of President Nestor Kirchner's main promises when he took office a year ago.

He and others have come up against the problem of the amnesty brought in after the return to civilian rule.

Last August the Argentine parliament voted to scrap that amnesty but a final ruling from the supreme court has yet to be made.

So, it is still far from certain whether any of the people arrested by Judge Urso will ever end up going to trial.


SEE ALSO:
Argentina's long wait for justice
26 Jul 03  |  Americas
Argentina overturns amnesty laws
13 Aug 03  |  Americas


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