'Angel of Death' jailed for life in Argentina

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'Angel of Death' jailed for life in Argentina

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A former Argentinian navy captain known as the Blond Angel of Death has been jailed for life in Buenos Aires for mass torture and murder during the country’s military dictatorship.

Alfredo Astiz played a leading role in the so-called ‘Dirty War’ against dissidents between 1976 and 1983.

Victims’ families and friends outside the court welcomed the verdict. Astiz was convicted along with 11 other co-defendants.

Tati Almeida, a mother of one of those who disappeared said: ‘This is legal justice that we have given them. Justice by our own hands that they never respected. We have a mixture of feelings. We’re happy but also sad because there are still 30,000 missing.’

Astiz was originally tried after the military dictatorship fell in 1983.

Many convicted at the time were later released in an amnesty. But when the amnesty was lifted in 2005, Astiz found himself back in the dock.

He had headed the notorious ESMA Naval Mechanics School where in all 5000 left-wing dissidents were taken.

Only around 200 are known to have survived the death squads.

79 of them gave evidence at the trial.