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Six Argentinians sentenced to life for 'Dirty War' role

Defendants convicted of committing crimes against humanity during Argentina's 'Dirty war' era in the 1970s.

portrait of Luis German Cirigliano

Six Argentinians have been sentenced to life after being convicted of committing crimes against humanity during the country's right-wing military rule from 1976-1983.

Argentina suffered one of the most brutal dictatorships in Latin America during that era, known as the "Dirty war".

According to human rights organisations, 30,000 people were kidnapped or disappeared in that era.

Judges at a federal court in northern Argentina's Tucuman jailed 10 of 17 people accused of involvement in the so-called "Operation Independence". Three others who were supposed to go on trial died.

During the military rule about 500 children were illegally taken from their families, according to the human rights group Grandmothers de Plaza de Mayo, which continues to search for the missing children.

Among the victims' family members in court during the sentencing were women who were pregnant when the military rule began and whose children are still unaccounted for.

Meanwhile, hundreds of activists and family members demonstrated outside the court, chanting calls for prison sentences for "every genocidal person walking the streets of Argentina".

Last year, former General Luciano Benjamin Menendez was sentenced to life in prison for his role at the secret dentention centres in the late 1970s.

He was charged with more than 600 cases of torture, more than 300 murders and forced disappearances, unlawful detentions, and other crimes against humanity committed at two detention centres, known as La Perla and La Ribera, between 1976 and 1978.

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