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Argentines March for Safe Return of Missing 'Dirty War' Witness


Thousands of people have marched across the Argentine capital, calling for the safe return of an elderly man who disappeared after testifying about crimes committed under the country's former military dictatorship.

Human rights activists wound through downtown Buenos Aires Wednesday evening, clutching photographs of Jorge Julio Lopez, a torture victim whose testimony at a human rights trial earlier this month helped convict a former police officer.

The 77-year-old disappeared hours after testifying against Miguel Osvaldo Etchecolatz, who since has been sentenced to life in prison for crimes committed during Argentina's so-called "Dirty War" from 1976 to 1983.

The rights group Amnesty International says Lopez may have been abducted by people connected to the former military government.

On Wednesday, police used trained dogs to search for Lopez near his home in La Plata.

Argentine officials say about 13,000 people died or disappeared during the crackdown on dissidents or political enemies under the military dictatorship. Human rights groups estimate nearly 30,000 people were killed.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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