Uruguayan justice sentenced seven retired soldiers to prison terms for crimes committed during the country’s dictatorship (1973-1985) – the length of the sentence to be served has not yet been determined.
The former officers were responding to a trial, opened in 2018, for deprivation of liberty and torture inflicted on left-wing activists imprisoned between 1975 and 1977 in the Inferno Grande clandestine detention center. Most of the victims belonged to the Tupamaros guerrilla group, which resisted the dictatorship.
The condemned soldiers are José Nino Gavazzo, Mario Julio Aguerrondo, Rudyard Raúl Scioscia Soba, Mario Carlos Frachelle Franco, Mario Manuel Cola Silveira, Ernesto Ramas and Jorge Silveira Quesada.
The conviction comes at an important time, because the reinstatement of the so-called “ley de caducidad” amnesty law, approved in 1986, declared unconstitutional in 2009 and annulled in 2011 was once again on the agenda of the current government.
The repeal of the law took place during the management of the center-left coalition Frente Amplio, when José “Pepe” Mujica was president. Now, in the alliance that supports the current center-right president, Luis Lacalle Pou, there is a far-right member – former General Guido Manini Ríos of the Cabildo Abierto party. It is his proposal to re-apply an amnesty law.
Mujica was part of the Tupamaros during the dictatorship, when he was detained for 12 years, along with two other guerrillas. The story was told in the book “Memories of the Dungeon” and in the movie “A Night of 12 Years”, directed by lvaro Brechner and released in 2018.