AP NEWS

Uruguayan president removes country’s army commander

April 1, 2019
FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2018 file photo, Uruguay's President Tabare Vazquez attends a military ceremony in Montevideo, Uruguay. The Uruguayan leader dismissed on Monday, April 1, 2019, his newly-named army commander and five generals for concealing a crime committed during the country's 1973-1985 dictatorship. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico, File)

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) — Uruguay’s president on Monday removed the commander of the army for covering up that a retired member of the military committed a crime during the 1973-1985 dictatorship.

President Tabare Vazquez dismissed Gen. Jose Gonzalez and five other generals. Gonzalez had been on the job for just two weeks and had replaced Gen. Guido Manini Rios.

Vazquez removed Manini Rios last month after he questioned how local courts have handled cases involving members of the military accused of dictatorship-era human rights abuses.

The latest crisis broke out after reports showed that in an army court of honor, a retired military member admitted to throwing the body of a leftist Tupamaru guerrilla into a river in 1973.

Gonzalez and other members of the tribunal didn’t inform the army or prosecutors.

More than 40 members of the military have been investigated after being accused of human rights crimes. Some of the aging ones have died in prison.

Hundreds were arrested and tortured during the dictatorship. An estimated 192 people were forcibly disappeared.