[Translation of an opinion piece from La Jornada of Mexico City for May 25, 2013. See original here. Jorge Mansilla Torres is a Bolivian writer]
By Jorge Mansilla Torres
In May, 1995, the Bolivian judicial system sentenced former dictator Luis García Meza to 30 years in prison for his crimes against the people and the state. At the beginning of this century, Peru tried and convicted former dictator Fujimori, as Argentina did with its own bloodthirsty military plunderers.
General Videla was sentenced twice to life in prison and died in the solitude of his cell a few days ago. Now former Guatemalan president Ríos Montt tries sleight of hand against the 80-year sentence handed him for his horrendous crimes of exterminating the Indians. These examples of dignity occur when there is historical memory and when the people take it upon themselves to give up their rancor in exchange for justice being done.
García Meza will be locked away in the high-security prison in Chonchocoro, at an altitude of 3,800 meters in the altiplano of La Paz, until he is 93 years old. With him, in the adjoining cell, is Colonel Luis Arce Gómez, his former minister of the interior, both of them convicted of the assassination of some 500 citizens, of torture and persecution of another 4,000, of at least 90 forced disappearances, of attacks on fiscal resources and of cocaine trafficking from the very presidency of the republic. (more…)