The government announced last Friday that it will extradite Argentine junta officer Ricardo Cavallo, a decision that contradicts a Supreme Court ruling last July that he should be tried in Spain. Cavallo is accused of killing and torturing left-wing activists, including several Spanish citizens, in the “dirty war” of 1976-1983. Up to 30,000 people are said to have been killed or disappeared in Argentina during that period. In 2003, Cavallo was extradited to Spain from Mexico, where he had been living under an assumed name for several years. His case is being handled by anti-terrorist investigator Judge Baltazar Garzon. Spanish law allows offences committed abroad to be tried in Spain if a suspect is not facing prosecution in his home country. The ex-naval commander has been charged with genocide and terrorism, which he denies. Cavallo served at the notorious Navy School of Mechanics in Buenos Aires, a detention centre in which hundreds of people were tortured and killed. At least 614 people were held at the navy school during the military campaign against left-wing insurgents. Many were drugged and thrown from aircraft into rivers and the sea.


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