Argentina Convicts Two Ex-Ford Officials in Torture Case

December 11, 2018 at 5:48 PM

A court in Buenos Aires found two former executives of Ford Motor Co.’s factory guilty of aiding in the torture and kidnapping of 24 plant employees four decades ago.

Pedro Muller and Hector Sibilla were given prison terms of 10 years and 12 years, respectively, as family survivors looked on (right). The court also sentenced a former army chief to 15 years in prison.

The two men had been accused of supplying the Argentine military dictatorship that controlled the country between 1976 and 1983 with photos, address and other data about the targeted Ford workers.

Court documents say the pair also allowed a detention center to be set up in the plant’s recreation area so that blindfolded and handcuffed abductees could be beaten and interrogated. Human rights groups say 30,000 people disappeared or were known killed during the dictatorship, according to Reuters.

Ford Argentina was not a party to the lawsuit. Prosecutors say they might try to sue Ford in a U.S. court. But legal experts tell Reuters that that plaintiffs would face numerous legal hurdles to do so.