The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has praised last month’s trial in Mendoza which saw 25 ex-federal judges convicted and sentenced to prison terms for their role in assisting crimes against humanity.
“This decision is an important step forward for the justice system in Argentina and sets an example for the region in terms of the serious crimes of the past. The ruling also shows that there was systematic conduct in the past by the Argentine judiciary to collaborate with State terrorism,” said Commissioner Paulo Vanucci, the rapporteur who oversees the new IACHR Unit on Memory, Truth, and Justice. “In a context of threatened setbacks in the region in this area, this decision represents progress against civilian impunity. It is necessary to strengthen and advance the promotion of memory, truth, and justice in the Americas.”
The IACHR’s statement arrives one month after the July 27 sentencing of the judges, who were handed terms ranging from 15 years to life in prison for collaborating in crimes against humanity committed under the last military dictatorship (1976-1983). According to the Federal Court of Mendoza’s ruling, the judges were participants in state terrorism as they failed to uphold justice and therefore hold active and direct responsibility for crimes involving kidnapping, torture and murder.