Argentina Haunted By History

A long-awaited verdict fails to heal the wounds of the "dirty war"

Anticipation crackled in the air as nearly 500 human rights activists, journalists and other spectators crowded into a Victorian-style courtroom in downtown Buenos Aires. For eight months the chamber had resounded with the chilling testimony of 833 witnesses as they recounted tales of murder, torture and abductions in the night committed against suspected subversives during six years of military rule from 1976 to 1982. But a heavy silence fell over the room as six appeals-court judges filed in last week to deliver their verdict on the nine military leaders who had been charged with responsibility for what Argentines now call the...

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