Col. Alberto Julio Candiotti, a former Argentinian military officer who was wanted for crimes committed during the country's 1976-1983 "Dirty War" [GlobalSecurity backgrounder; JURIST news archive], was arrested Thursday in Montevideo, Uruguay. Information for the whereabouts of the 68-year-old, who was residing in the city with his wife, was valued at 100,000 pesos (USD $20,000). The former officer was arrested by Uruguay's National Police. Authorities are currently uncertain whether Candiotti sneaked into the country or falsified documents to gain admittance.
The "Dirty War" was a seven-year military dictatorship under which an estimated 30,000 people, many government opponents as well as ordinary citizens, were "disappeared" and taken to government facilities to be tortured and eventually killed. A court in Buenos Aires sentenced [JURIST report] former military general Reynaldo Bignone [JURIST news archive] in March to life in prison for crimes against humanity. In February seven retired military officers were sentenced to life in prison [JURIST report] for various human rights abuses committed during the war. In December an Argentinian court sentenced former interior minister Jaime Smart to life in prison [JURIST report] for murder and detention of citizens. Smart was the first civilian minister to be convicted of crimes during the "Dirty War," but other civilians and police officers had been previously convicted. Two of Argentina's former dictators were also convicted in July of kidnapping children [JURIST report] during the war and sentenced to a total of 65 years in prison. One of the dictators, Jorge Rafeal Videla, had already been sentenced to life in prison [JURIST report] in 2010 for crimes against humanity during the war.