Two of Argentina's former military dictators have been convicted by a court in Buenos Aires for their involvement in the state-orchestrated abduction of babies belonging to political dissidents.
Jorge Rafael Videla, who ruled from 1976 to 1981, was sentenced to 50 years, on top of a life sentence he is already serving for ordering the torture and murder of dissidents while in power. Reynaldo Bignone, who briefly ruled Argentina from 1982 to 1983, received a 15-year sentence, also on top of a life sentence for ordering torture and murders.
Seven others, most former military or political officials, were also charged in relation to the theft of 34 babies, concluding a trial that had begun in February of last year.
Videla, 86, was given the maximum sentence, having been directly involved in 20 of the abductions. The former dictator had masterminded the plan to abduct newborns from political opponents, handing them over to be raised by families considered supportive of the military regime -- in many cases after murdering the birth parents.
Although this particular case involved only 34 children, more than 400 are believed to have been stolen from their families during the rule of the military regime from 1976 to 1983.
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