The Supreme Court of Argentina has ruled amnesty on prosecution of perpetrators during a most dark period of recent history is INVALID..
Below is the backstory with my tks to AP and CNN..
Officially 12,000 people are listed as dead or missing from the 1976-83 military junta crackdown on opponents, although human rights groups say the toll was closer to 30,000. The missing, known as the "disappeared," are presumed to have been slain.
The ruling came in the case of Julio Simon, a former policeman accused of being involved in the disappearance of Jose Poblete and Gertrudis Hlaczik and of taking their daughter, Claudia Poblete, as his own. Under Argentine law the decision can be taken as precedent in other cases.
President Nestor Kirchner called it a major step to heal the wounds of a turbulent era.
"The court's decisions has restored our faith in justice," Kirchner said jubilantly. "This is a blast of fresh air that signifies the end of impunity."
In August 2003 the House and Senate voted to repeal the amnesty laws. But activists had waited for the Supreme Court to make a final decision on the constitutionality of the laws, which effectively ended trials for officers accused of human rights abuses.
After the dictatorship was replaced by an elected government in late 1983, many ranking military officers were tried on charges of abducting, torturing and executing suspected opponents of the former regime. They were imprisoned in 1985 -- before the amnesty laws went into effect -- but were pardoned by then-President Carlos Menem in 1990.
Those officers were accused of waging a systematic crackdown on leftists and other political opponents who were kidnapped off the streets, tortured in clandestine centers and "disappeared."
Many were detained naked and blindfolded in chains while being tortured with electric prods and drugged before being taken on "death flights" to be thrown into the South Atlantic.
The Dirty War inspired Luis Puenzos's 1985 drama, "The Official Story," about a couple's adoption of a baby they later learn was taken from one of the disappeared. The movie captured for worldwide audiences the horrors of the dictatorship.
Many of the junta's top leaders and other officers are now under house arrest on charges of kidnapping children belonging to mothers who vanished during military rule. They face prosecution under a loophole in the amnesty laws that allowed prosecution in ongoing crimes.
Legal experts said the floodgates were now opened to more prosecutions.
"This is a historic decision that the Argentine court has taken today," said Ricardo Gil Lavedra, a constitutional law expert. "This is going to reopen investigations, with all the difficulties that that entails."
Gen. Roberto Bendini, Argentina's top military commander, called the ruling a step toward "national reconciliation that all Argentines desire."
But there was unease in the military ranks. Hours before the verdict, Defense Minister Jose Pampuro said there was apprehension in the armed forces about the possibility of reopened trials.
Tears flowed among the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, who have been marching weekly for more than a quarter century with white handkerchiefs covering their graying heads to demand an accounting of sons and daughters still missing.