Argentine admiral Emilio Eduardo Massera dies at age 85

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Argentine admiral and member of the 1976 Argentine coup d'état Emilio Eduardo Massera has died at the age of 85.

File:Emilio Eduardo Massera.jpg

Emilio Eduardo Massera in 1978
Image: Archivo Gráfico de la Nación (Argentina).
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

Massera died after suffering from an episode of cardiovascular arrest. He was one of the three men to rule Argentina from 1976 to 1983. Some human rights groups said that up to 30,000 people were killed during hi military rule.

As Commander of the Navy Massera, along with General Jorge Rafael Videla and Orlando Ramón Agosti toppled the then Argentine President Isabel Martínez de Perón. The three ran the country under military rule for 7 years.

Massera ran the torture centre at the navy mechanical school in Buenos Aires. There he oversaw the death of thousands of political prisoners. In 1985 at the trial of the junta leaders, Massera was sentenced to life in prison on charges of murder, torture and robbery. He only served five years of his sentence after he was released under an amnesty law.

However, in 1998 he was placed under house arrest. He was charged with the stealing of babies born to political prisoners, a crime not protected under amnesty law. He had his life sentence reinstated in 2007, but due to a stroke he suffered in 2002, he was deemed too ill to face prosecution.