Involvement of Ledesma sugar company in crimes of Argentine military dictatorship

Argentina – Military dictatorship – Ledesma

In April 2011, ECCHR submitted an amicus curiae brief in the criminal investigation in Jujuy, Argentina, examining sugar company Ledesma’s liability for human rights violations during the Argentine military dictatorship. The submission also points out that the Argentine judiciary has a responsibility to investigate and prosecute for human rights violations committed by corporate actors during the dictatorship.


The summons related in particular to the head of Ledesma, Pedro Blaquier’s, and former manager Alberto Lemos's suspected involvement in the false imprisonment of victims of the so-called “night of the blackout” in July 1976. On this night approximately 400 people, most of whom were trade unionists and employees of Ledesma, were kidnapped by members of the military. Some of the trucks used in the operation bore the company’s logo.

55 people are still missing. A raid of the company in late April revealed, among other things, intelligence reports compiled for Ledesma on trade unionists who subsequently disappeared. These included reports on former union leader Jorge Osvaldo Weisz, who was detained and disappeared in 1974. These documents represent important evidence for establishing the criminal liability of the company for crimes against humanity.


In spring of 2012, the Federal Court in Jujuy summoned the pair for questioning. On 13 March 2015, ECCHR presented a request to the Argentine Supreme Court in the Ledesma case to be incorporated in the court’s register, with a view to potentially intervening as an amicus curiae at a later stage of the proceedings. The reason for filing this request was the 13 March 2015 decision by the Federal Criminal Cassation Chamber (Cámara Federal de la Casación Penal) in the Ledesma case, reversing the confirmation of the indictment of the two accused, Lemos and Blaquier.

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