April 19, 2005

Today in Spain, Adolfo Scilingo was sentenced to 640 years in prison for crimes against humanity, although he’ll really only have to serve 30 because of Spanish law. Reading this in news this morning brought back so many memories of his interviews over ten years ago. I remember when Horacio Verbitsky first played those tape recordings on Hora Clave, and after that the media couldn’t get enough of Scilingo. I remember I was shocked–I couldn’t believe someone from the military was actually admitting to such horrific crimes. And I was mad at society, because people only seemed to care about the death flights once Scilingo started talking about them. Victims of the Dirty Wars had been talking about the death flights for years, and barely anyone had placed trust in their accounts! Even though I was mad at the sudden and undeserved attention Scilingo was getting, I was also thankful. I would have never expected to have such warm feelings of gratitude towards a member of the military. Yet here I was, watching interviews of a truly apologetic and broken man, speaking out about the crimes he had committed while the rest of the military was silent. I know he encountered a ton of backlash from the military because of these interviews. He was actually arrested back then on some silly financial charge, and I’m sure President Menem was trying to lock him away just to shut him up. Crazy how when he first opened up about the crimes he committed, he wasn’t jailed right then and there. The government only arrested him so he’d stop talking. And now, ten years later, a court in Spain is finally putting him behind bars, yet so many other perpetrators of violence who have never shown remorse are still walking free in Argentina. I’m happy that Scilingo’s being punished, but I have to wonder, where is the justice in this whole situation?

1 thought on “April 19, 2005

  1. ssvolk says:

    I’m only sad that Scilingo wasn’t put on trial here — and that he remains one of the few criminals who would come forward and speak. Where are the others? When will they come to justice?

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