Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/6/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

'Baby stealing' seen as among the worst excesses of the former regimes'Baby stealing' seen as among the worst excesses of the former regimes

Under the dictatorships of former Argentinean leader Jorge Rafael Videla, who ruled the nation from 1976 to 1981, and General Reynaldo Benito Bignone who ruled briefly from June of 1982 until the country's return to democracy in December of 1983, babies of political prisoners were literally given away and given new identities. Both men will now bear the brunt of this practice as both were handed prison sentences this week.

Former dictator of Argentina Jorge Rafael Videla during the trial claimed that children may have been kidnapped, but he said that there was no order or systematic plan.

Former dictator of Argentina Jorge Rafael Videla during the trial claimed that children may have been kidnapped, but he said that there was no order or systematic plan.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

7/6/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Jorge Rafael Videla, Argentina, baby stealing, life sentences

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - An Argentinean court handed down prison sentences for both men this week. Videla was sentenced to 50 years in prison and Bignone was sentenced to 15 years in prison. The crowd cheered when a judge read the verdict for Videla.

"It was the worst, the most perverse of the dictatorship, I think, what they did with us," Francisco Madariaga Quintela who was one of the stolen babies who was reunited with his father in 2010. "It was a torture prolonged through time, for the grandmothers searching, for family members, everyone."

Family members affected by the practice told CNN that they were satisfied with the verdict. "It was what we were asking for. We never asked for revenge. We never hated. We never asked for anything more than justice, and we have been fighting for 36 years," one father said.

Both men, along with their officers were described as the "presumed authors of the crimes of theft, retention and hiding of minors, as well as replacing their identities," according to a statement from the country's judiciary. Thirty-four babies were stolen from their parents, the court said.

Videla during the trial claimed that children may have been kidnapped, but he said that there was no order or systematic plan.

Videla defended his actions, saying in court that the children's mothers were "terrorists."

"All those who gave birth, who I respect as mothers, were active militants in the machinery of terrorism. They used their children as human shields," Videla said.

Videla was among the coup leaders who overthrew then-President Isabel Martinez de Peron in March 1976. He had been previously convicted in 2010 of human rights abuses during his rule and is already serving a life sentence.

Videla's lawyers requested that he be allowed to serve his sentence under house arrest, due to his advanced age. The request was denied.

Bignone was sentenced in 2009 to 25 years in prison for being directly responsible for the kidnapping and torture of 56 people.

The period when Argentina was ruled with an iron fist from 1976 to 1983 has been called the nation's "Dirty War." Under that military dictatorship, up to 30,000 students, labor leaders, intellectuals and leftists disappeared or were held in secret jails and torture centers.



Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Americas

'Body lifted from the ground': Young Central American woman dies after 'exorcism' Watch

Image of The purported possessed girl had allegedly toyed with Ouija boards before she fell ill ffrom a series of mysterious illnesses.


Twenty-two-year-old Jacqueline Sanchez of Belize died from cardio respiratory arrest after a purported "exorcism" was performed on her. According to media reports, Sanchez' body "lifted" from the ground and spoke in a man's voice in the church where the ... continue reading

The unbelievable thing 2,000 Cuban immigrants did at the Costa-Rican Nicaragua border Watch

Image of Long lines of trucks and buses have piled on both sides of the border as migrants have refused to let traffic pass, authorities say.


In what threatens all transportation and trade to Central America, 2,000 Cuban immigrants have thrown themselves against the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Buses and trucks are halted on both side of the border. The Cuban migrants have taken a stand ... continue reading

See this Nazi? Why did the CIA protect 'The Butcher of Lyon' after WWII? And why did the Vatican help? Watch

Image of Klaus Barbie.


The U.S. government has a poor record of managing people that it protects and builds up. A new case came to light recently as the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail featured the story of Klaus Barbie, the Nazi who killed hundreds of people during the war, only to enjoy CIA ... continue reading

Central American refugees streaming in to U.S. quickly reaching crisis levels Watch

Image of Far more worrisome is the fact that unescorted immigrant children, those who travel with other children without adult supervision are steadily increasing.


While immigration remains a very hot button topic in the 2016 presidential debates, the number of refugees illegally crossing into the United States from Mexico - and further south, is quickly reaching crisis levels. The number of illegal refugee families ... continue reading

The heartbreaking true story of a Mexican human trafficking survivor who was raped 43,000 times since 12-years-old Watch

Image of Karla Jacinto survived severe sexual, physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her pimp (CNN).


Twenty-three-year-old Karla Jacinto has stepped forward to share her horrifying survival story after suffering sexual abuse for seven years, then enduring four years as a prostitute and victim of human trafficking in Mexico. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Her tale ... continue reading

Ancient Mayan sinkhole believed to be former altar for human, animal sacrifice Watch

Image of Scuba instructor Troy Iloski is the man behind the photos. Iloski travelled with local tour guides Antonio Molina Piquard, Anna Nicolaus and Bernardo Miranda to capture these stunning pictures.


Spectacular color photographs of an ancient Mayan sinkhole in Quintana Roo, Mexico have captivated a global audience. The beauty holds a dark and terrifying secret, as many believe the sinkhole to be an ancient sacrificial Mayan site - for human and animal ... continue reading

Guatemala's corruption reaches all-time high: Can a comedian save them? Watch

Image of


The Guatemalan government has come under fire yet again with several counts of corruption. In an attempt to combat the increasingly untrustworthy government, comedian and former actor Jimmy Morales quickly went from zero to hero in a landslide victory with 70 percent ... continue reading

22 people arrested, 12 tons of marijuana seized in 'super tunnel' sting in San Diego Watch

Image of The raid was the culmination of a six-month undercover investigation. The operation was triggered after an undercover agent with the U.S. Tunnel Task Force met with two suspected traffickers at a San Diego restaurant.


A sophisticated super tunnel in San Diego, California has been busted by federal agents as part of a drug sting. Twenty-two people have been arrested - and 12 tons of marijuana was seized in the raid. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A nondescript cinder-block ... continue reading

Discovered Bahamian fossils give astonishing 'unparalleled snapshot' into Ice Age life in Caribbean Watch

Image of Isolated islands make it far easier to determine what factors contributed to a species' development -- or extinction, in the same manner in which Charles Darwin established his theories at the Galapagos Islands.


New fossils discovered in the Bahamas give "us an unparalleled snapshot at what the Ice Age life would have been like on a Caribbean isle," lead author David Steadman, curator of ornithology at the Florida Museum of Natural History says. It's believed that ... continue reading

Justin Trudeau swept to victory as Liberals ride elections in Canada Watch

Image of Leading the Liberal party to a sweeping victory on many sides, Justin Trudeau will be Canada's new prime minister.


Leading the Liberal party to a sweeping victory on many sides, Justin Trudeau will be Canada's new prime minister. Conservative Stephen Harper, making his fourth consecutive mandate, will step down as party leader. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading

All Americas News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • 'Body lifted from the ground': Young Central American woman dies ...
  • St. Eligius: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, December 01, 2015
  • Pope Francis does the unthinkable following emotional tragedy in ...
  • Opium, heroin or cocaine: What drug is YOUR country known for?
  • Daily Readings for Tuesday, December 01, 2015
  • Prayer For Faith HD Video
  • Parents' Prayer For Their Children HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Romans 10:9-18
9 that if you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and if you ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 4:18-22
18 As he was walking by the Lake of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 30th, 2015 Image

St. Andrew
November 30: Andrew, like his brother Simon Peter, was a ... Read More