World Bulletin/News Desk
Jorge Rafael Videla, an austere former army commander who led Argentina during the bloodiest days of its Dirty War dictatorship and was unrepentant about kidnappings and murders ordered by the state, died on Friday at age 87.
The first president to head the military junta that "disappeared" thousands of leftists from 1976 to 1983, Videla spent his final years behind bars for human rights crimes including the systematic theft of babies born to political prisoners in secret torture centers.
He died of natural causes in his jail cell, a government spokesman said, where we was serving a life sentence in a prison outside the capital, Buenos Aires.
"He spent his life doing great damage, which left a mark on the life of the country," Argentine human rights activist and Nobel Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel told Reuters. "His death ended his physical presence but not on what he did to the country."Last Mod: 17 Mayıs 2013, 16:38