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US Deports Ex-Argentine Officer in Connection with Dirty War Case

U.S. authorities have deported a former Argentine army officer accused of being the chief interrogator at a clandestine torture center operated during Argentina's seven-year military dictatorship.

Officials made the announcement Tuesday in the case of Ernesto Guillermo Barreiro, who fled to the United States three years ago. Last April, Barreiro was arrested on immigration charges in The Plains, Virginia, about 80 kilometers west of Washington, where he had been living.

Barreiro was accused of fraudulently obtaining a U.S. visa by denying he had ever faced criminal charges in Argentina. U.S. immigration and customs officials say that Barreiro was detained and charged in Argentina in 1984 and 1987 for alleged torture and kidnapping that resulted in death.

Four years ago, the government of Argentine President Nestor Kirchner repealed an amnesty that had cleared military officers involved in the country's so-called "Dirty War," when authorities cracked down on leftist dissidents.

Since then, ex-officials, including a former police chaplain, have faced justice for crimes committed during the 1976 to 1983 dictatorship.

Official estimates say some 13,000 people died or disappeared during that time. Human rights groups put the toll at 30,000.

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