A federal criminal court this afternoon delivered the verdicts in the long-running trial judging the alleged criminal involvement of the government and security forces in the deaths of dozens of protesters in demonstrations during the final days of the 1999-2001 Fernando De La Rúa administration, when the country was gripped in crisis.
It took more than a decade for judicial authorities to allow the oral trial to commence in 2014. But after two years of a preliminary investigation that at times crawled at a snail’s pace, victims and their family members finally received long-anticipated verdicts.
The Buenos Aires City Federal Criminal Oral Court No. 6, presided over by judges José Valentín Martínez Sobrino, Rodrigo Giménez Uriburu and Adrián Martín, issued the rulings sentencing former Security Secretary Enrique Mathov to four years and 9 months of prison while former federal police officer Ruben Santos was given four years.
The trial aimed to determine the chain of responsibility in the crimes committed by security forces when repressing public protests that took place in Plaza de Mayo square and along the 9 de Julio Avenue.
The court ruled the acquittal of six of 15 accused: federal police officers Norberto Pablo Sabbino, Orlando Juan Oliverio, Mario Andrés Seia, Sebastián Saporitti, Horacio Berardi and Eugenio Figueroa.