Argentina man gets life for torture, deaths of 11,000 people

London : A former officer in the ­Argentine Navy’s intelligence unit who was responsible for the torture and murder of 11,000 innocent people during military rule 1976 to 1983, has been sentenced to life imprisonment, a media report said Sunday.

During the junta’s rule, Alfredo Astiz was responsible for the torture and murder of at least 11,000 people during the country’s so-called “Dirty War”, the Daily Express reported Sunday.

He was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment last week along with 11 former military and police officers. The court trial lasted 22 months.

All of them were posted at the Naval Mechanical School in Buenos Aires, the feared Esma, an Argentine Navy facility that was an illegal detention centre during the dictatorial rule.

Ninety percent of about 5,000 prisoners taken to Esma did not come out alive.

When the guilty verdict was read out in the Federal Court in capital Buenos Aires Wednesday, the women in the public gallery erupted in screams of joy, yelling “murderer” at the 60-year-old Astiz.

His victims included two French nuns and the founders of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo human rights group.

Some of the victims were killed by firing squad while ­others were thrown from planes, drugged but still alive, into the Atlantic ocean which is the second-largest of the world’s oceanic divisions.

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