Argentine dictator Reynaldo Bignone convicted


Argentina’s last dictator has been convicted and sentenced to 25 years in jail for kidnappings and torture during the 1976-83 military regime. Reynaldo Bignone, 82, was convicted yesterday with five other former military officers in 56 cases involving torture, illegal detentions and other crimes in one of Argentina’s largest torture centres, Campo de Mayo. Human rights groups say that of the 4000 dissidents taken to the army base, about 50 emerged alive. The base also had a clandestine maternity centre where dissidents gave birth only to have officials take their babies away to be adopted by military families. Bignone was de facto president from 1982 to 1983, but the crimes he was convicted of were committed between 1976 and 1978, when he was a commander at the Campo de Mayo base. Five other retired officers received sentences ranging from 17 to 25 years.