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Hundreds protest against burial of Argentine dictator

23 may 2013, 18:45
0
Sometimes you can't go home: hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets Wednesday to protest against the possible burial of the late former dictator Jorge Videla in his home town, AFP reports.

"Neither Dead, nor Alive," "May He Not Rest in Peace" were among the banners waved by angry demonstrators on the streets where Videla, who led Argentina during its last military dictatorship, was born.

Videla, dictator from 1976 to 1981 at the height of Argentina's "Dirty War" against a leftist opposition, died Friday in prison while serving time for crimes against humanity. He was 87.

Court officials have not said publicly where he may be interred. According to local media, the silence is due to an informal agreement between officials and Videla's relatives.

Speculation has focused on the city of his birth.

"For my generation, Videla is a sinister person," said Silvina Sukich, a 56-year-old doctor.

"Sure, everyone deserves to be buried where they want, but you have to do things differently for someone who did not give us the chance to bury our own dead where we wanted."

Marcelo Melo, human rights official for the town west of Buenos Aires, insists: "This is what the people of Mercedes think."

"We repudiate what Videla was and what the dictatorship was."

Rules approved in 2009 ban any ex-military leader sentenced for rights abuses from receiving military honors at his funeral.

During his rule, Videla launched a fierce crackdown on leftists and suspected supporters. As many as 30,000 people were kidnapped and "disappeared" during the military regime's rule, which ended in 1983.

An unrepentant Videla told a court in his last public appearance on May 14 that his subordinates followed his orders. He assumed "full military responsibility for the actions of the army in the war against terrorism."

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