Judge Baltasar Garzon spoke recently at the University of Minnesota on Truth, Justice and Reparations
Judge Garzon with WAMM members Roger Cuthbertson and Patty Guerro
Roger and Patty are members of the Tackling Torture at the Top Coalition
Judge Baltasar Garzón served for many years on Spain’s central criminal court, the Audiencia Nacional, which has jurisdiction over the most important criminal cases in Spain, including terrorism, organized crime and money laundering, as well as universal jurisdiction for violations of international law. He first came to international attention in 1998 when he sought the extradition of former Chilean president, General Augusto Pinochet, from England to Spain for the alleged deaths and torture of Spanish citizens by his regime.
In 2008, Garzón initiated an investigation into the crimes committed by the Franco regime in Spain. He has since been temporarily suspended from his position in the Audiencia Nacional, awaiting trial on accusations from right-wing groups of having exceeded his authority. Since May 2010, he has been working in the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and he will shortly begin working as an advisor to the Organization of American States mission to Colombia.
More information from Wikipedia:
Garzón came to international attention on 10 October 1998 when he issued an international warrant for the arrest of former Chileandictator Augusto Pinochet for the alleged deaths and torture of Spanish citizens. The Chilean Truth Commission (1990–91) report was the basis for the warrant, marking an unprecedented use of universal jurisdiction to attempt to try a former dictator for an international crime. Eventually it was turned down by British Home SecretaryJack Straw, who rejected Garzón’s request to have Pinochet extradited to Spain on health grounds.
Garzón also filed charges of genocide against Argentine military officers on the disappearance of Spanish citizens during Argentina‘s 1976-1983 dictatorship. Eventually Adolfo Scilingo and Miguel Angel Cavallo were prosecuted in separate cases. Scilingo was convicted and sentenced to over 1000 years incarceration for his crimes.