Thirty life sentences asked (2)

In Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Uruguay

(ANSA) - Rome, October 14 - Rome prosecutors on Friday requested 30 life sentences against former heads of state, military junta members, and secret service officials from Bolivia, Chile, Peru, and Uruguay for the killing of 23 people of Italian origin during the 1970s and 1980s.
    Charges include aggravated mass murder and kidnapping. The killings took place as part of the so-called Operation Condor, a campaign of political repression and state terror involving intelligence operations and the assassination of opponents, which began in 1968 and was officially implemented in 1975 by right-wing military dictatorships in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Peru. Victims included dissidents and leftists, union and peasant leaders, priests and nuns, students and teachers, intellectuals and suspected left-wing guerrillas.
    The Rome trial is taking place after a 10-year investigation into 140 people - including 59 Argentinian, 11 Brazilian, and six Paraguayan suspects - that officially ended six years ago. The indictments were far fewer due to the death of several military junta members as well as bureaucratic issues linked to the notification of the defendants.
    In March 2007, a Rome court handed down life sentences against five Argentinian ex-Navy officers - Jorge Eduardo Acosta, Alfredo Ignacio Astiz, Jorge Raul Vildoza, Hector Antonio Febres, and Antonio Vanek - for aggravated mass murder in the deaths of three Italian-Argentinians who went missing during the country's 1976-1983 military dictatorship.
    Photo: Rome Assizes Court Judge Mario D'Andria reads life sentences against five Argentinian officers in 2007.
   

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