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June 23, 2017

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Argentina ex-governor of Falklands arrested: gov't

BUENOS AIRES -- The general who ruled the Falkland Islands during Argentina's brief occupation in 1982 was arrested for crimes against humanity committed earlier in Argentina, prosecutors said Thursday.

Mario Benjamin Menendez, now 82, is accused of running the first of Argentina's killing centers during the so-called "Operation Independence" in 1975 aimed at crushing the Marxist People's Revolutionary Army in Tucuman, a remote jungle area 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) north of Buenos Aires.

More than 1,500 people were allegedly detained at the infamous "Escuelita" torture and extermination center under Menendez.

In all, nearly 20 people were arrested across the country Wednesday and some had already begun giving statements to the police, the prosecutor charged with handling human rights cases said.

The brutal "Operation Independence" culminated in 1976 with the coup to install the military dictatorship that continued waging Argentina's "dirty war" against leftist opponents and other dissidents.

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