The Argentine Justice has sentenced 1,058 people for crimes against humanity perpetrated during the dictatorship between 1976 and 1983. But there is still a long way to go: there are 20 trials in progress, fifty awaiting a start date and twenty fugitives from Justice. According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Argentine State does not know the whereabouts of 22 accused of crimes against humanity and offers rewards for them. For the most wanted is willing to pay up to five million pesos (about 43,300 dollars) whoever gives a clue that facilitates his capture, according to the announcement made by the Ministry of Security on the eve of the 46th anniversary of the coup.
Over the years, the search becomes increasingly complex and it is necessary to age the few photographs that are available of the fugitives. On some occasions it is not even known whether the accused is alive or deceased, as is the case of ex-marine Jorge Vildoza, accused of torture and the appropriation of Javier Penino Viñas a few days after being born at the Higher School of Mechanics of the Navy in Buenos Aires, the largest clandestine detention center of the Argentine dictatorship.
Vildoza fled the country across the Paraguayan border in 1986 with his wife and their appropriate minor in a Navy Intelligence car. He passed through Brazil and various European countries until he reached South Africa, where he settled. His family claims that Vildoza died in Johannesburg in 2005 under a false identity, and that he was cremated, but as the death certificate was falsifiedfor the Argentine justice is still a fugitive.
In other cases, Justice is looking for defendants who were already detained but escaped. The ex-military Carlos Alberto Arroyo is one of them. In 2013, he took advantage of the benefit of his release from prison and escaped when he was about to be tried for the double homicide of Daniel Hidalgo and Olga Silvia Souto Castillo. The latter was pregnant when members of the Army entered the house where the couple was staying and riddled them. Souto Castillo’s body received more than 20 shots and it took the family 15 years to find her whereabouts because she was buried under the false name of Delia Esther García.
Among the most wanted is also the former deputy police commissioner Emilio Alberto Rimoldi Fraga, accused of having participated, along with six other members of this force, in a hunt throughout one night in October 1977 in which three people were kidnapped and murdered. to three others.
Most of the fugitives belonged to the Armed or Security Forces but there are also civilians linked to them, such as Eduardo Rebechi and Gabriel Jesús Isach, for whom the Argentine State also offers a reward of five million pesos. Both were civilian intelligence personnel in the city of Rosario and are charged in cases of crimes against humanity perpetrated in this city, the third largest in Argentina.
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About thirty catches
The special search unit for fugitives in cases against humanity was created in 2008 and a reward fund was set up for those who provide information that allows their whereabouts to be located. Since then, thirty repressors have been captured.
One of the most recent was former Lieutenant Colonel Roberto Brunello, 72, who had been a fugitive since November 22, 2013. Brunello, charged with the crimes of kidnapping, application of torture, exercise of sexual violence and homicide under the modality of forced disappearance of person, was captured last November in Belén de Escobar, about 50 kilometers from Buenos Aires.
Human rights organizations are pressuring the Argentine State to intensify the search for these fugitives and also to speed up the trials that are underway or in the investigation phase, given the increasingly advanced age of the victims and perpetrators. From the beginning of the processes to the present, 964 people investigated for crimes against humanity have died before sentencing.
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