And it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person. Unfortunately, being dead, Febrés will now be unable to reveal the whereabouts of babies stolen from political prisoners and given to military families, or the whereabouts of the bodies of the many killed during the regime’s War On Terror®…
Buenos Aires Herald, December 14, 2007:
Former coast guard officer Héctor Febrés, who was on trial for crimes against humanity during the last [1976–1983] dictatorship, was found dead [from] unknown causes yesterday morning inside his cell in the Tigre district, Buenos Aires province, only four days before his trial verdict was to be read out.
[Febrés was the first to be prosecuted for crimes committed at the military dictatorship’s main prison, beginning in 1976.]
Aged 66, Febrés was serving prison at a coast guard base pending the court’s final finding. Security guards said that he had dinner as usual on Sunday night, later talked to his wife, and went to bed. Yesterday morning, guards noticed that he did not wake up for breakfast, so they broke into his room and found his corpse lying on the bed.
Febrés was accused of torturing prisoners at the Naval Mechanics School in Buenos Aires, known as ESMA, and the prosecution had asked for life imprisonment.
Cyanide death of jailed Dirty War defendant causes uproar in Argentina
The Associated Press
International Herald Tribune
December 14, 2007
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina: Police detained the wife and two grown children of a former coast guard officer who died mysteriously in jail amid a dictatorship-era human rights trial, hours after an autopsy found cyanide in his blood, a judge said Friday.
Hector Febres, 66, was accused of kidnapping and torturing dissidents during Argentina’s past military dictatorship. He was found dead in his cell at a navy brig on Monday, four days before an expected verdict in his high-profile case.
Official reports initially suggested Febres had died of natural causes, but autopsy results released midweek revealed a large quantity cyanide in his bloodstream — alarming human rights activists who feared he may have been poisoned to silence his testimony and prompting the court to swiftly open an investigation…
See also : Uki Gona, Justice Still Delayed in Argentina, Time, November 28, 2007