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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Second Serbian War Criminal Caught In Argentina

Yesterday the papers reported another Serbian war criminal was caught in Argentina, this time in Buenos Aires. The previous one was caught a few months back in Mendoza after a tip was received from Human Rights Watch. It brings up an interesting issue -- why do all these war criminals flee to Argentina?

My own theory is that it is left over from the days when Peron invited the Nazis to come here after the war. Ever since then, Argentina has been struggling to shuffle an image as a haven for war criminals and place where criminals can hide out. However, perhaps the first famous criminals to flee to Argentina were Robert LeRoy Parker and Harry Alonzo Longabaugh (better known as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, respectively), who fled to Argentina in 1901 to escape a $1000 bounty on their heads and the relentless pursuit of the Pinkertons.

I'm glad to see that Argentina is making strides to arrest these people and deport them back to their country of origin, where they can stand trial for their crimes. With the present government's emphasis on dealing with the legacy of human rights abuses in this country, its good to see that Argentina is no longer a safe haven for war criminals. And although some accuse the current administration of drudging up the past for political gain, prosecuting human rights abusers is a good policy, no matter the motivation.



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