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Retired Ecuadoran officers accused of human rights crimes

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Ecuador's attorney general brought charges of crimes against humanity Tuesday against 10 retired military officers accused of the torture, sexual abuse and illegal detention of three former guerrillas in 1985.

Attorney General Galo Chiriboga filed the charges against six generals and four colonels who served during the 1984-1988 presidency of the late Leon Febres-Cordero.

In a public hearing in the National Court of Justice with two of the victims present, Chiriboga asked judge Lucy Blasio to order preventive detention for the defendants.

They include two former defense ministers and a chief of police under Febres-Cordero.

Chiriboga said the charges were based on evidence gathered by a "truth commission" established by President Rafael Correa between 2007 and 2010.

The commission documented 136 cases of human rights violations and crimes against humanity under Febres-Cordero, who died in 2008 without ever being charged.

The former president waged a fierce campaign during the 1980s against a small Marxist-Leninist urban guerrilla group called Alvaro Vive Carajo, which gave up the armed struggle in 1991.

The case now being brought involves three former AVC members who were detained by the army in the coastal city of Esmeraldas in November 1985.

Javier Jarrin, Susana Cajas and Luis Vaca were hooded and secretly transported to a military battalion in southern Quito where they were tortured with electric prods and subjected to other abuse.

Cajas, then 21, was a victim of sexual abuse over a 15-day period.

"I was never dressed during an interrogation. During all the interrogations, they required me to be completely nude, and there was all the application of electric shocks, and sexual aggressions," Cajas, who is now an alternate ruling party deputy, told AFP.

Cajas and Jarrin were taken from the military unit after two weeks' confinement and placed under arrest for carrying false documents.

Vaca told AFP he was held incomunicado for two and a half years by the military. At the time, the army denied holding the three, all of whom survived the ordeal.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131001/retired-ecuadoran-officers-accused-human-rights-crimes