Dean Rohrer

La justice reportée, mais pas niée

LONDRES – La semaine dernière, l’ancien dictateur argentin, le général Jorge Videla, a été jugé et condamné à la prison à vie pour son rôle dans la « sale guerre » de l’Argentine des années 70, et pour la torture et l’exécution de prisonniers désarmés. Ces crimes ont été perpétrés il y a des dizaines d’années. Que peut signifier un tel verdict des années après le rétablissement de la démocratie en Argentine ?

Les poursuites judiciaires engagées contre Videla et d’autres auteurs de crimes ont été possibles grâce à une décision de jurisprudence sans précédent rendue par la Cour Interaméricaine des Droits de l’Homme. La Cour a exigé que les amnisties, accordées aux responsables politiques et militaires en Argentine et dans d’autres pays de la région en préalable au processus de transition démocratique, soient suspendues. Elle a considéré que le fait d’établir les responsabilités pour les crimes commis par les dictateurs est un droit humain – et l’emporte donc sur l’impunité accordée à de nombreux dictateurs latino-américains comme condition à la transition démocratique.

Cette dernière décision du tribunal régional rendue mi décembre annule une loi d’amnistie brésilienne de 1979 visant à protéger les responsables militaires contre les poursuites pour abus commis durant les 21 ans de dictature militaire. « Les provisions de la loi d’amnistie brésilienne, qui font obstacle à toute investigation et sanction pour les violations graves des droits de l’homme, » a conclu le tribunal, sont « incompatibles avec la Convention Américaine. » Cela aura pour effet d’exiger que ceux qui étaient aux responsabilités répondent des disparitions forcées de 70 paysans à Araguaia dans le cadre d’une opération anti-guerilla.

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