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Argentine ex-officers get life sentences for killings

BUENOS AIRES -- Three Argentine ex-military officers were sentenced to life in prison Monday for crimes against humanity over the execution of 16 guerrillas four decades ago, a top justice official said.

“The court sentenced to life in prison the three military officers for 16 aggravated homicides, while two (staff) were acquitted. The circumstances were described as crimes against humanity,” national court affairs director Andrea Gualde told reporters in Rawson, 1,460 kilometers (907 miles) south of Buenos Aires.

The three military staff sentenced over the killings in 1972 were ex-officers Luis Sosa, Emilio Del Real and Carlos Marandino. Ruben Paccagnini and Jorge Bautista meanwhile were acquitted, Gualde said.

A Crimes Against Humanity Board report in September found that between 2008 and July 2012 there were 61 trials for crimes committed by the military dictatorship, with 270 convictions. Another 15 are under way.

Some 30,000 people were abducted and killed during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship, according to human rights organizations.

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