The National Court in Madrid last week rejected a request from Buenos Aires to extradite former Argentine President Isabel Peron who is wanted in connection with alleged human rights abuses during her 1974-1976 rule. The court also ruled that the charges did not constitute crimes against humanity and that therefore the statute of limitations had expired. Argentina also wants to question her over the disappearance of two leftist men in 1976, but the court said there was insufficient evidence to link Sra Peron to them. It also said there was not enough evidence to link her to the activities of the paramilitary squad, the Argentine Anti-communist Alliance which is believed to have kidnapped and killed about 1,500 government opponents, including politicians, lawyers and journalists. Maria Estela Martinez de Peron, 77, took over after President Juan Domingo Peron died in office in 1974. She was an ineffectual leader at a time when Argentina was wracked by political violence. She was removed in a military coup in 1976 and held under house arrest until she moved to Spain in 1981. An estimated 30,000 people were killed, or “disappeared”, from 1976 to 1983, during the military’s repression of alleged left-wing opponents, now known as the “dirty war”.


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