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Former Paramilitary Agent, Anibal Gordon, Dead At 55

September 14, 1987

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) _ Former paramilitary agent Anibal Gordon, who headed an ultra-rightist group involved in kidnapping, extortion and murder during the previous military dictatorship, has died of a heart attack. He was 55.

Gordon died Sunday night, said officials at the Fernandez Hospital, where he had been operated on five days earlier for cancer in his left lung.

He was convicted of kidnapping former nationalist leader Guillermo Patricio Kelly in 1983 near the end of the military dictatorship’s seven-year rule. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Earlier this month, Gordon appealed for amnesty under the newly enacted ″due obedience″ law for crimes committed during the former military regime’s campaign to wipe out suspected leftists. The campaign, known as the ″dirty war,″ lasted between 1976-83. During that period, at least 9,000 people vanished.

Under the due obedience law, charges have been dropped against about 270 officers accused of crimes such as kidnapping, torture and murder because the officers allegedly were following orders from their superiors.

Gordon said he kidnapped Kelly under orders from then-President Gen. Reynaldo Bignone. Bignone has denied the accusation.

About 50 generals still face prosecution for human rights atrocities. Those trials may start as early as October.

Gordon was a member of a clandestine State Intelligence Agency that operated during the dirty war, killing suspected leftists.

Gordon was also associated with the ″Triple A,″ or Argentine Anti- Communist Alliance, a right-wing terrorist group.

When Gordon was arrested in 1984 in the western province of Cordoba, police found a cache of explosives, intelligence agents’ identity cards and sophisticated communications equipment.

After his election to the presidency in 1983, Raul Alfonsin put many former Argentine junta leaders on trial. Five leaders, including two former presidents, have been convicted of crimes against humanity and are serving terms of up to life in prison.

Gordon is survived by his wife and a son, Marcelo, who is serving an eight- year prison term for his role in the kidnapping of Patricio Kelly.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete, pending an inquiry requested Monday by Patricio Kelly into the circumstances of Gordon’s death.

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