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Iran Press TV

Uruguay's former dictator Gregorio Alvarez dies at 91

Iran Press TV

Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:8PM

General Gregorio "El Goyo" Alvarez, the last military dictator in Uruguay who ruled the country from 1981 to 1985, has died at the age of 91.

Human rights activists in Uruguay were celebrating the death on Wednesday of Alvarez, who reportedly died of a heart failure at Montevideo Military Hospital.

"With the greatest respect, a rapist, a murderer, a torturer, a 'disappearer' doesn't redeem himself by dying," said a lawyer who once defended the victims of the Alvarez era.

Activist Beatriz Benzano said, "The first thing I thought is, he died with the secret of all the people he 'disappeared' and killed."

"Kidnapping children, robbing babies, disappearances, raping men and women... He had an interminable list of crimes."

Alvarez was a key element of a military regime that took power in Uruguay following the 1973 coup. He stepped down in 1985, when protests forced him to accept a return of democracy to Uruguay. He had been sentenced to 25 years in prison over human rights violations he committed during his dictatorship, which included imprisonment, torture and killing of thousands of people in the country.

Investigations by independent groups have found that some 6,000 people were jailed during the time of the military regime only for political charges. The regime is also believed to have orchestrated the abduction of 230 people who are missing and presumed dead.

Leftist Tupamaro guerrillas played a role in the regime's downfall in the 1980s. The fighters later merged into a broader coalition, which still rules the country.

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