Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Second "dirty war" witness missing in Argentina

An important story, but under-reported in the U.S.:

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Police searched on Thursday for a man who has
disappeared months after testifying he was tortured by a policeman during
Argentina's military dictatorship, the second "Dirty War" witness to go
missing.
Government officials said President Nestor Kirchner had postponed a
planned trip to coordinate police efforts to locate Luis Gerez, a 51-year-old
construction worker who vanished on Wednesday, according to family
members.
Gerez was a witness earlier this year in a congressional
investigation probing whether a former police chief accused of rights abuses and
recently elected to Congress should be allowed to take his seat.
Gerez's
testimony proved crucial and led lawmakers to vote to prevent Luis Patti from
assuming office.
"If Gerez isn't found, this obviously means the situation is
getting worse," said Edgardo Binstock, a Buenos Aires provincial government
official.


Between 11,000 and 30,000 innocent people were killed by government death squads in the "Dirty War" of 1976 - 1983. Read the rest.

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