Argentine navy men admit role in 1972 massacre

February 22nd, 2008 - 11:42 pm ICT by admin  

Buenos Aires, Feb 22 (IANS) One of the former Argentine navy men arrested in connection with a 1972 massacre admitted in court that they had gunned down 16 leftist guerrillas held at a naval base in southern Argentina in their cells, media reports said. Carlos Amadeo Marandino made this confession during a trial Wednesday a day after his arrest upon his arrival in the country from the US, where he was staying in exile, Spain’s EFE news agency reported Friday.

“The detainees were gunned down without any reason. They were killed like dogs,” the defendant said to the court.

Marandino added that after the killings top navy officers hatched up a story that the guerrillas were killed in a fighting among themselves and all the personnel at the Almirante Zar naval base were told to stick to the official version of the incident.

Marandino, one of the suspects in the massacre, appeared Monday at Argentina’s embassy in Washington and said he was prepared to submit himself to the jurisdiction of his country’s courts.

In August 1972, 25 leftist guerrillas escaped from Rawson prison in southern Argentina and briefly seized control of the airport in nearby Trelew, a city in the Chubut province, before military forces guarding the facility nabbed 19 of the rebels.

Six others managed to escape to Chile on an airplane.

The 19 captured guerrillas were taken to the naval base, where 16 of them died when some navy officials opened fire on them in their cells.

The massacre known as the Trelew Massacre happened under the then military dictator of Argentina, General Alejandro Agust

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