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Argentine ‘Dirty War’ Suspect Arrested

February 9, 2006

MADRID, Spain (AP _ Spanish police have arrested a former Argentine police officer in Madrid wanted in connection with kidnappings and torture during his country’s ``dirty war″ against leftist dissidents, authorities said Thursday.

The man was identified as Ricardo Taddei, 63, a police spokesman said on condition of anonymity per department policy. He was arrested on an international arrest warrant.

Taddei is allegedly connected to 161 cases of kidnapping and torture, authorities said. It was not immediately known if Taddei, who was born in Buenos Aires, lived in Spain or was simply visiting.

Police said Taddei was an officer in Argentina’s so-called Clandestine Detention Centers between 1976 and 1979, where he worked as a guard and interrogator.

During the 1976-1983 dictatorship, at least 9,000 Argentines vanished _ and presumably were killed _ often after torture as the government sought to round up and silence leftists and anti-government activists.

Human rights groups put the figure at 30,000.

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