Argentine military dictatorship: accused ex-military officer Luis Kyburg has died

ECCHR laments lack of proceedings and justice

16.11.2023

The Berlin Public Prosecutor General’s Office today confirmed the death of former Argentine naval officer Luis Kyburg. An international warrant had been out for his arrest for crimes against humanity since 2013. The Berlin Public Prosecutor General’s Office had been investigating Kyburg since 2014 on suspicion of murder. In his capacity as second in command of an elite military unit at the Mar del Plata Naval Base, Kyburg was allegedly co-responsible for grave crimes committed in 1976 at the beginning of the Argentine military dictatorship (1976 – 1983). The German-Argentine fled to Germany in 2013, in order to avoid prosecution in Argentina. As a German citizen, his extradition was prohibited. Several days ago, after exhaustive investigations, the Public Prosecutor General’s Office filed a 220-page indictment for 23 counts of murder with the Berlin Regional Court.

In 2018, with the support of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), Anahí Marocchi, the sister of Omar Marocchi, who was killed in Mar del Plata in 1976, filed a criminal complaint against Luis Kyburg with the Berlin Public Prosecutor General’s Office. In addition, ECCHR has supported Fabián und Claudio Hallgarten, the brothers of Fernando Hallgarten, who was also forcibly disappeared in 1976.

“It has been proven that the unit of former military officer Kyburg participated in crimes against humanity. His superior and 48 additional officers also stationed in Mar del Plata at the time have already been convicted of enforced disappearance, torture and murder. It is therefore all the more regrettable that the victims and their families did not receive justice in this case. Nevertheless, at least a comprehensive and solid indictment has been issued by the Berlin Public Prosecutor General’s Office, and in Argentina, most of Kyburg’s co-perpetrators have been convicted by the courts,” says Wolfgang Kaleck, General Secretary of ECCHR.

In Argentina itself, over 1,000 people have already been convicted for crimes committed during the military dictatorship under Rafael Videla. The victims and survivors of the approximately 30,400 Argentines who were victims of the systematic terror have thus been able to receive some measure of justice.

Additional information:

The “Coalition Against Impunity,” of which ECCHR is a member, has worked since 1998 to address crimes against humanity during the Argentine military dictatorship. In his capacity as a lawyer at the time, Wolfgang Kaleck represented family members and survivors in cases in Germany, which led to an arrest warrant against former Argentine dictator Rafaela Videla. In addition to the crimes of the Argentine military regime, he focused on corporations, such as Mercedes Benz, that cooperated with the former regime and were involved in crimes against humanity.

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ECCHR is an independent, non-profit legal and educational organization dedicated to enforcing civil and human rights worldwide. It was founded in 2007 by Wolfgang Kaleck and other international human rights lawyers to protect and enforce the rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other human rights declarations and national constitutions, through legal means.

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