Doctors Who Worked With Argentinian Dictatorship, to Trial, A First

16.09.2014 - Prensa Latina

Buenos Aires, Sep 15 (Prensa Latina) For the first time since the last civil-military dictatorship (1976-1983), medical professionals who participated in clandestine deliveries in order to kidnap the babies born to female prisoners who then disappeared without a trace, are headed to trial. The daily newspaper Pagina 12 reported today that doctors Norberto Bianco, Raul Martin, and the obstetrician Luisa Arroche will go on trial starting next Wednesday at the Federal Oral Tribunal No. 6, for the misappropriation of children during the dictatorship.

The doctors worked at the clandestine maternity wing inside the military hospital at Campo de Mayo, the report said.

The publication also pointed out that as a precedent to this trial, this very same court issued one of the most significant rulings concerning crimes against humanity: that the theft of infants born to kidnapped women was a systematic and ubiquitous practice of State terrorism.

For such crimes, top military leaders who governed the country during those years were given stiff sentences, following 10 years of insistent efforts from the grandmothers of the disappeared (Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo).

Two years later, this same court will begin to try the doctors who were part of the medical staff linked to the misappropriation of the babies.

Their responsibilities were not analyzed as part of the previous landmark trial.

The doctors Bianco and Martin, and the obstetrician Luisa Arroche, in addition to the capos charged with supervising the area, Santiago Riveros and Reynaldo Bignone, will have to answer charges for the theft of nine infants, five of whom were able to recover their true identity.

The stories of the recovered grandchildren Francisco Madariaga and Catalina de Sanctis Ovando will be among those to appear during the proceedings. In this first proceeding, the cases of nine women will be judged.

Pagina 12 points out that from 1976 to 1978, within the epidemiological wing at the Military Hospital at Campo de Mayo there were two special rooms with barred windows, deadbolts on the doors, and no lights, through which at least 17 young pregnant women passed.

As their delivery dates neared, the young women were handcuffed and transported to the military hospital in private cars, from various clandestine detention centers that functioned within the orbit of Campo de Mayo.

Most of the deliveries were induced, cesarean, and took place in the surgical wing of the hospital.

Afterwards, the infants were seized from their mothers, and all traces of the women erased. They were taken back to a clandestine center. From there, disappearance followed. Death.

Another eight cases will be judged next.

Categories: Health, Human Rights, South America
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