Category: Mass Murder
Date: 1976 - 1981
Crime: Known as 'The Pink Panther' or 'The Bone', Videla is said to be responsible for the deaths of up to 30,000 people through his military abuses after assuming control of Argentina in a coup d'etat. He was prosecuted for wide-spread human rights abuses and crimes against humanity that took place under his rule.
Biography: Born in Mercedes, Argentina August 21, 1925, the son of a military colonel. He graduated from Military College in 1944 and rose to the rank of Lieutenant General and was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Army. As a military leader, he participated in a coup to overthrow the Argentinian regime of Juan Domingo Peron, successfully taking control in 1976. Videla and his military went about eradicating anyone who was perceived to disseminate ideas contrary to Western Christian civilization and is widely recognized as the most aggressive and repressive military regime in Argentinian history. During these years, as many as 30,000 people were murdered or just 'disappeared'. He set up detention centers throughout the country where torture was commonplace. Women prisoners were impregnated and had their children taken away and placed with military families with falsified documentation. Videla stepped down in 1981, while the military regime lasted for two more years and in 1983, democracy was finally restored. The new president immediately ordered a decree for the arrest of the military leaders who ruled from 1976 to 1983. The trial resulted in Videla being convicted of multiple cases of homicide, aggravated false arrests, torture and robbery and was sentenced to life in prison. He was released after serving only four years and has since been pardoned.