Argentine human rights groups are organizing demonstrations today against a Supreme Court ruling that would allow perpetrators of human rights violations to get out of jail early, reports Página 12.
A court ruling last week reduced the sentence of Luis Muina, who in 2013 was condemned to 13 years in prison for kidnap and torture during the 1976-1983 dictatorship, based on a defunct law allowing time spent in pre-conviction detention to count double.
Argentines across the political spectrum have reacted with anger about the so-called 2 for 1 clause, which could potentially allow 750 detained former members of security forces to reduce their sentences, reported the Guardian last week. These include people who kidnapped babies born to "disappeared" women who were later killed, and torturers.
Advocates of the decision say it represents a strict application of the law, a victory for rule of law, regardless of outcome. Critics say the 2 for 1 law was never meant to be applied to crimes against humanity, which fall into a distinct category from common crimes. (COHA has a useful summary of the case.)
Political parties united yesterday in Argentina's lower chamber of Congress which passed a law limiting the applicability of the defunct law, reports La Nación. The bill, passed with near unanimity, is under debate in the Senate today, and is intended to allow the Supreme Court a way of backing out of the polemic decision.
"For the generation that suffered the dictatorship between 1976 and 1983, this result representa triumph for the repressors who show they still have power in the shadows. For my generation, which voted for the first time with the return of democracy in 1983 and celebrated the trial of the Juntas as a historical milestone in the country, it is another disillusion in a fragile democracy in which independence between government powers never really works," writes Teresa Sofía Buscaglia in the New York Times Español.
President Mauricio Macri is scheduled to hold a press conference shortly before the march. While his government initially stayed neutral on the decision when it was announced last week, members of the ruling party have since stepped up criticisms, reports La Nación.
Critics say the ruling is part of a consistent sidelining of human rights issues by the current government, and plays into a long-standing distrust of Argentina's judicial power, writes Martín Caparrós, also in the New York Times Español. The majority decision was joined by two new judges appointed polemically by Macri upon assuming. Human rights groups have denounced government officials -- including the President -- who attempt to minimize the extent of the military's violent repression.
Human rights aside: The Argentine government apparently desisted from a plan to honor former U.S. President Jimmy Carter for his defense of human rights in Argentina, after the Trump administration suggested postponing, according to CNN Español.
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- Tens of thousands of students marched in this capital and other Chilean cities yesterday to demand forgiveness of loans taken out to finance university education, reports EFE.
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