Spanish doctor extradited to Uruguay amid shocking allegations of torture

A Spanish doctor will be extradited over accusations he helped the military torture prisoners during a right-wing dictatorship movement in the 1970s.

The country’s High Court approved that the doctor, Carlos Americo Suzacq, be extradited to Uruguay following a request by a Montevideo court. 

It came after the testimony of eight victims who alleged the doctor advised the military on when to stop or continue torture at a detention centre of the sixth Mechanised Cavalry Regiment in Montevideo between 1972 and 1975. 

“Even taking into account that more than 40 years have passed since the events reported…the nature and seriousness of these events, as well as the need to prevent them from going unpunished, leads this court to grant the extradition claim,” the Spanish tribunal said in its verdict.

It cited alleged crimes of abuse of authority against detainees, serious injuries and unlawful deprivation of liberty, that are classified as crimes against humanity.

Doctor punched and paramedic almost strangled during home visit in Spain's Murcia City
The doctor opposed his extradition.

The doctor opposed his extradition saying he had Spanish citizenship, which he gained by marriage in 1978. 

He also said he had had roots in Spain since 1977, when he went into exile and established his residence in the Iberian country, working as a doctor.

Suzacq also claimed there was a statute of limitations as Spain introduced crimes against humanity and torture in its penal code many years later.

About 200 Uruguayans were kidnapped and killed during the 1973-1985 dictatorship in the South American country, while thousands were thrown into prisons where many were tortured.

While a 1986 amnesty law shielded most officers from prosecution, legislation approved in 2011 made new rights trials possible as rights-related crimes would not be subject to a statute of limitations.

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