Whether military personnel remained incarcerated in 1990 after the 1987 amnesty laws and the 1990 presidential pardon; whether a new amnesty or pardon was passed in 1996, and if so, rank of personnel released [ARG32004.E]

Various reports indicate that the 1987 laws that limited prosecution for human rights abuses committed during the last military regime (1976-1983) exonerated all except the military commanders who led the repression, and that the 1990 presidential pardon exonerated from further imprisonment all jailed commanders. No reports of an amnesty or pardon passed in 1996 for military perpetrators of abuses during the last military regime could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. As one report explains, the 1987 "law of 'due obedience' let members of the military who were simply 'following orders' off the hook, while the law of 'punto final' set a 30-day deadlines for the courts to close all cases against former repressors" (IPS 25 Mar. 1998). It adds that the convicted heads of the military regime "were later pardoned by President Menem after serving five years" (ibid.). A more recent article reported the imprisonment of a naval sub-officer in 1999 on charges of child abduction, reportedly a crime not covered by the pardon and amnesty laws, bringing to nine the number of military officers of the last regime detained, including three generals and three admirals, a former ship captain and a former naval prefect; another admiral was released after being detained (AFP 16 Mar. 1999).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please see below the list of sources consulted in researching this information request.


Agence France Presse (AFP). 19 March 1999. Didiere Lapeyronie. "La victoire la plus significative des 'grands-mères de la place de Mai'." (NEXIS)

Inter Press Service (IPS). 25 March 1998. Marcela Valente. "Rights3/4Argentina: Dissatisfaction With Repeal of Amnesty Laws." (NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

Latin American Regional Reports: Southern Cone Report [London]. 1996.

Latinamerica Press [Lima]. 1996.

Electronic sources: IRB Databases, REFWORLD, Internet, WNC.

This list is not exhaustive. It does not include country-specific publications available at the Resource Centre.