2 Chi. J. Int'l L. 1 (2001)
The Justice Cascade: The Evolution and Impact of Foreign Human Rights Trials in Latin America

handle is hein.journals/cjil2 and id is 9 raw text is: The Justice Cascade:
The Evolution and Impact of Foreign Human Rights Trials in
Latin America
Ellen Lutz* and Kathryn Sikkink**
I. INTRODUCTION
During the Falldands/Malvinas War of 1982, the British captured Argentine
Navy Captain Alfredo Astiz. Non-governmental human rights organizations accused
Astiz, a notorious figure during Argentina's dirty war, of involvement in the
disappearance of two French nuns, the arrest and killing of a Swedish girl, and the
interrogation, torture, and disappearance of hundreds of Argentines at the Naval
School of Mechanics in Buenos Aires. After his capture, France and Sweden asked to
question Astiz concerning their nationals, and the British transported him to London
for that purpose. Astiz, availing himself of the protections afforded by the Geneva
Convention on Prisoners of War, refused to answer. Although there was substantial
evidence against him and the Geneva Conventions do not shield prisoners of war from
prosecution for human rights crimes, neither country sought his extradition, nor did
Britain entertain trying him in the United Kingdom Instead, he was repatriated to
Argentina.
Seventeen years later, the British government arrested Chilean General and
former President Augusto Pinochet on a Spanish extradition warrant for torture and
other human rights crimes. This time, the British courts assiduously considered the
jurisdictional issues posed by the Spanish request and determined that the Spanish
courts had jurisdiction to try Pinochet for crimes committed in Chile over a decade
before. Although British authorities ultimately allowed Pinochet to return to Chile,
finding that he was too incapacitated to stand trial, the events in Europe had
* Executive Director of the Center for Human Rights & Conflict Resolution, Fletcher School of Lay,
and Diplomacy, Tufts University.
** Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota. The authors gready appreciate the
insights, shared knowledge, and assistance of Naomi Roht Arriaza, TimothyJ. Bucludlew, Anthony
Pereira, Maria Florencia Belvedere, and David Weissbrodr.
1. Tina Rosenberg, Children of Cain: Violence and te Violent in Latin America 79-141 (William Morrow 1991).
2. Nigel S. Rodley, The Treatment ofPrisoners Under International Law 125-27 (Clarendon 2d ed 199).

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