Garzón led an investigation into the crimes committed during the military dictatorship in Argentina where there were Spanish victims (March 1976, December 1983). Of particular note is the indictment against 99 people, including top military officials as suspects of criminal events in Argentina between March 24, 1976 and December 1983; 48 international warrants for arrest; the request to Argentina for their extradition.
The prosecution of one of the repressors sentenced for crimes against humanity, in Madrid, represented a historic landmark as important as the arrest of Augusto Pinochet, and obtaining the extradition from Mexico of other repressors, thus reassuring the effectiveness of the principle of universal justice. The latter was finally handed over to Argentina and sentenced in 2011.
Since 2003, with the collaboration of President Nestor Kischner, cases in Argentina resumed against those responsible for these crimes, with various sentences given and trials and investigations continuing to this day. From that moment, the central court No. 5 of the High Court of Spain has provided the cooperation requested for the development of trials and to provide protection to victims.
Adolfo Scilingo and the death flights
On November 2, 1999 Baltasar Garzón indicted Adolfo Scilingo along with 97 other Argentines, which included several members of the military junta, all accused of crimes of genocide, terrorism and torture between 1976 and 1983.
It had been two years since the Argentine naval officer voluntarily travelled from Buenos Aires to Madrid to confess before the Spanish judge of his involvement in the so called “death flights.” During these military flights, tens of Argentine military regime opponents were released into the sea at night, alive or unconscious, from helicopters or airplanes in flight over the Atlantic Ocean.
In April 2005, he was tried for crimes against humanity committed between 1976 and 1977 and, having proved his responsibility in the death of thirty people and an illegal detention followed by torture, was sentenced to 640 years in prison. In July 2007, after checking complicity in 255 other illegal detentions, the Spanish Supreme Court increased the sentence to 1,084 years.