Retired Army general Alfredo Arrillaga, 85, was sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday for the summary execution of guerrillas surrendering after the recapture of the La Tablada Army barracks in early 1989, some 30 years ago.
He was found guilty in the specific case of José Diaz, 29, who was photographed at the time with his hands up and showing a white flag, although at least three similar cases of shooting prisoners are suspected. He was convicted of aggravated homicide.
The far left Movimiento Todos por la Patria grouping overran the La Tablada barracks on January 23, 1989, on the pretext that they were heading off a military coup against then Radical President Raúl Alfonsín. The battle last two days, with 32 dead guerrillas. nine soldiers and two policemen left dead.
Arrillaga is already serving five other life sentences under house arrest for human rights violations during the 1976-83 military dictatorship. He is serving those terms under house arrest.
"We expected it [the ruling], we have the truth on our side," Daniel Díaz, the son of the victim, told reporters.
The court heard testimony from a soldier and a paramedic, as well as quotes cited from documents from the intelligence services.
"We have documents from the SIDE [intelligence services] that mention José de Díaz as killed on the 23rd and 24th [of January]," said prosecutor Pablo Llonto.