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Rodolfo Almirón Sena (February 17, 1936 - June 5, 2009) was a former Argentine police officer and a leader of an extreme right-wing death squad known as the Triple A, operating in Argentina during the mid-1970s. The group is held responsible for 1,500 murders of government opponents, and Almirón was charged with being one of the chiefs and organizers of the squad.

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Life and times

Almirón was born in 1936 in Puerto Bermejo, a small, riverside town in Chaco Province, Argentina. Almirón was incorporated into the Argentine Federal Police (with jurisdiction over the city of Buenos Aires) around 1960. A member of the robbery task force, Almirón became an associate of the "Prieto gang," one of the most notrious in the Greater Buenos Aires area during the early 1960s. He and other policemen were indicted in 1964 for obstruction of justice in the murders of numerous Prieto gang members; following the 1965 death of Prieto himself in a local jail, however, Almirón and his co-defendants were acquitted. Almirón was also involved in the June 1964 death of a U.S. military officer, who received a fatal gunshot during an altercation with Almirón outside a dance hall in Olivos, an upscale suburb of Buenos Aires. An acquaintance of Almirón's pled guilty to the shooting, later determined to have been Almirón's doing.[1]

He was dismissed from the Argentine Federal Police in 1970 because of ongoing criminal associations. He was later reinstated by José Lopez Rega on the latter's return to Argentina in 1973, however, when Almirón was attached to his and Isabel Perón's personal guard.[2] After fleeing the country in 1975 with the help of José Lopez Rega (the founder of the Triple A and close adviser to populist leader Juan Perón), he settled in Spain as Manuel Fraga Iribarne's chief of personal security [3].

He was present during the Montejurra 1976 massacre against left-wing Carlists, in which Stefano Delle Chiaie had also participated. According to Spanish lawyer José Angel Pérez Nievas, it is also "probable that Almirón participated — along with Stefano Delle Chiaie and Augusto Canchi — in the 1980 bombing of the Bologna train station." The lawyer presented to the Spanish judicial system, in the name of the Partido Carlista de Euskalherria-EKA (victims of the Montejurra events), a demand to have him also judged for the Montejurra crimes.[4] He was later a bodyguard of Spanish Prime Minister Felipe González and a training officer in the Spanish Presidential Guard.[2]

Almirón had first been located in Spain in 1983 working for Manuel Fraga's security, which raised public indignation and his subsequent dismissal.[2] His presence in Spain was kept secret until 2006 in order to protect the Popular Alliance's image, precursor of the current conservative Partido Popular [3]. El Mundo newspaper located him in December 2006, living in Torrent in a flat paid by the Comunidad Valenciana region, and interviewed him on December 17.

He was arrested in Spain on December 29, 2006, on murder charges. Tried in Argentina, after an Argentine judge charged him of crimes against humanity (exempt from statutes of limitations), he was accused of the murder of Argentine Congressman Rodolfo Ortega Peña, former Buenos Aires Provincial Police assistant chief Julio Troxler, university professor Silvio Frondizi (brother of Arturo Frondizi, former Argentine President) and Professor Frondizi's son-in-law, Luis Ángel Mendiburu. An earlier stroke made him incapable of providing testimony or standing for cross-examination, however, and his trial remained suspended when he died in a Ezeiza prison on June 5, 2009.[5]

See also

References

  1. ^ Larraquy, Marcelo. López Rega. La biografía. p. 249. Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana, 2004.
  2. ^ a b c Detienen en Valencia al ex dirigente de la Triple A Argentina Almirón Sena, El Mundo, December 28, 2006 (Spanish)
  3. ^ a b 'Argentinian death squad leader' arrested in Spain, The Guardian, December 30, 2006
  4. ^ Denuncian que Almirón también participó en la ultraderecha española, Telam Argentine news agency, January 6, 2007 (Spanish)
  5. ^ El Mundo: Muere sin condena Rodolfo Almirón (Spanish)

External links

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