Argentina: 'Dirty War' dictator dies in prison

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Argentina: 'Dirty War' dictator dies in prison

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The former dictator who led Argentina during its bloodiest period, Jorge Rafael Videla has died in prison aged 87.

Videla was jailed in 2010 for the deaths of 31 dissidents during the 1976 to 83 military dictatorship. Thousands of people ‘disappeared’ during this period known as the “Dirty War”.

Videla and two other military leaders staged a coup in 1976 when he became de facto president.

From that moment a campaign to rid the country of left-wing activists began. Right groups say up to 30,000 people were kidnapped and murdered .

Last year Videla was also convicted of overseeing the systematic theft of at least 400 babies from political prisoners.

With the eventual end of military rule and the introduction of democracy a monument to the victims was built, but Videla was never repentant.

His time in power had a lasting impact with the children taken from their mothers only now being reunited with lost families.

Despite being jailed Videla always said the crackdown he oversaw was the price Argentina had to pay in order to remain a republic.