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Junta leaders guilty of baby theft

Friday, July 06, 2012 - 01:40

July 6 - Human rights activists and victims of Argentina's ''Dirty War'' era cheer the sentencing of key figures for the theft of babies from political prisoners. Sarah Charlton reports.

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EDITORS NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Stolen from their parents and illegally adopted - the theft of babies from political prisoners during Argentina's "Dirty War" remains a painful legacy. During the country's brutal dictatorship of the late 1970s, infants were stolen from their mothers in a crackdown on leftist dissent. Decades later, and key figures have been given hefty jail terms for a plan described as "systematic". The 11 defendants included three former junta leaders already serving life sentences for previous human rights convictions. There were emotional scenes outside court as the verdict was delivered. SOUNDBITE: ESTELA DE CARLOTTO, HEAD OF GRANDMOTHERS OF PLAZA DE MAYO HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP, SAYING (Spanish): "This is justice. It came. Let's remember we started this in 1996. At that time, we didn't know if we were going to make it to this moment or not. We couldn't foresee this. I think it's healing for society to know they are being tried and sentenced and will continue to be tried and sentenced until the last crime that can be attributed to them." The trial focussed on the kidnapping of 34 stolen infants. Taken as a child, Maria Victoria Moyano, was reunited with grandparents in 1987. SOUNDBITE: MARIA VICTORIA MOYANO, PLAINTIFF WHO WAS TAKEN FROM PARENTS AS A BABY, SAYING (Spanish): "We still have a huge amount of work ahead of us, because all the civilians and intermediaries are still free. If we say there was a genocide, then all those sectors have to be tried and jailed." Just over 100 children have discovered their true identities. But activists say there could be several hundred more. Sarah Charlton, Reuters.

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Junta leaders guilty of baby theft

Friday, July 06, 2012 - 01:40