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Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                                     

Argentine Republic (Argentina)

Police misconduct, including torture and brutality against suspects in custody, is endemic. Prisons are overcrowded, and conditions remain substandard throughout the country. Arbitrary arrests and abuse by police are rarely punished in the courts, and police collusion with drug traffickers is common.

[Freedom House Country Report, 2020]

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Argentina

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Argentina.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Torture by Authorities are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the moral justification for inflicting pain or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment in order to obtain critical information that may save countless lives, or to elicit a confession for a criminal act, or to punish someone to teach him a lesson outside of the courtroom.  Perhaps your paper might focus on some of the methods of torture, like fear, extreme temperatures, starvation, thirst, sleep deprivation, suffocation, or immersion in freezing water  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the people acting in an official capacity who perpetrate such cruelty.  There is a lot to the subject of Torture by Authorities.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.

*** ARCHIVES ***

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Argentina

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 4 July 2021]


The PPN reported 427 cases of torture or mistreatment in 2019. As of June the PPN had recorded 87 cases. Although the PPN created a National Registry of Cases of Torture in 2010, its reporting remained largely limited to the city and province of Buenos Aires (home to approximately 46 percent of the population)

Impunity remained a significant problem in security forces at all levels. Corruption and a slow, politicized judicial system impeded efforts to investigate abuses. The government generally denounced reported abuses and took efforts to train military and security forces at all levels on human rights.


The Federal Penitentiary Service reported 52 inmate deaths in federal prisons through October 31, of which 19 were violent.

According to human rights organizations and research centers, inmates in many facilities also suffered from poor nutrition; inadequate medical and psychological treatment; inadequate sanitation, heating, ventilation, and light; limited family visits; and frequent degrading treatment.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 14 May 2020]


Police misconduct, including torture and brutality against suspects in custody, is endemic. Prisons are overcrowded, and conditions remain substandard throughout the country. Arbitrary arrests and abuse by police are rarely punished in the courts, and police collusion with drug traffickers is common. In September 2019, the chief of the Federal Police in Santa Fe was arrested for impeding an investigation following a violent attack against him, and he was later charged with drug trafficking. In May 2019, four young people were killed when their car crashed as they fled police officers who opened fire on them in the province of Buenos Aires. As a result, 12 officers were suspended pending an investigation.

Trial investigating torture of Luciano Arruga begins

Buenos Aires Herald with online media, 5 May 2015

[accessed 17 May 2015]

[accessed 25 December 2018]

The trial investigating the torture of Luciano Arruga — the 16-year-old teenager disappeared and then allegedly killed in a car accident in January 2009 — by police officers began yesterday at La Matanza’s Criminal Court No. 3 in Greater Buenos Aires.

Three police officers are accused of carrying out the torture against Arruga when he was detained on September 22, 2008. Three months later, the young teenager disappeared until his body was finally discovered last year in an unmarked grave.

“After his arrest, Luciano was afraid... all this began when he refused to rob for the police,” Mónica Alegre, Arruga’s mother, testified in court. Alegre recalled that her son was detained for hours in a police station located in a poor neighbourhood in Lomas del Mirador, La Matanza district.

Of the three police officers accused of committing the torture, only one is on trial so far — Julio Diego Torales. Officers are accused of beating Arruga during that detention.

Human Rights Watch World Report 2015 - Events of 2014

Human Rights Watch, 29 January 2015 or

[accessed 18 March 2015]


POLICE ABUSE - Police abuse remains a serious problem, despite a 2011 commitment by authorities in at least 19 provinces not to resort to excessive use of force when dealing with public protests. In May 2014, 22 people were injured after local police forces dispersed a workers’ demonstration in the province of Tucumán, using rubber bullets and police batons with excessive force, according to CELS. In June, police in the province of Chaco fired rubber bullets at demonstrators and beat and detained protesters, leaving more than 100 people injured.

PRISON CONDITIONS - Overcrowding, ill-treatment by prison guards, inadequate facilities, and inmate violence continue to be serious problems in prisons. According to the National Penitentiary Office (Procuración Penitenciaria de la Nación), an official body created by Congress, there were 88 deaths, including 41 violent ones, in federal prisons between January 2013 and October 2014. The office also documented 724 cases of torture or ill-treatment in federal prisons in 2013, and 520 in the first 10 months of 2014.

Shocking video shows torture in Tucumán

Buenos Aires Herald, 1 Oct 2014

[accessed 17 November 2014]

The video depicts a police violently attacking a young man in handcuffs on the floor, shirtless. The victim — who had allegedly been arrested hours earlier — is seen being thrown against the floor repeatedly. The officer laughs and forces him to make farm animal sounds.

“What does the horse say? What does the rooster say? What does the little dog say? Bark!” the policeman tells the arrested man while he beats him.

'Torture by provincial police’ concerns US State Department

Buenos Aires Herald, 27 February 2014

[accessed 1 March 2014]

The annual US State Department Report on Human rights has drawn attention to cases of “torture by provincial police, harsh prison conditions and gender violence”, as cause for concern in Argentina.

Other conditions described were “excessive force by police” characterized by “occasional arbitrary arrest and detention.”

In addition, the office run by Secretary of State John Kerry informed over “prolonged pretrial detention; actions that risked impairing freedom of the press; continued concerns about judicial inefficiency,” and “official corruption.”

Human Rights Overview

Human Rights Watch

[accessed 16 January 2013]

Argentina continues to make significant progress prosecuting military and police personnel for enforced disappearances, killings, and torture during the country’s “dirty war” between 1976 and 1983. However, trials have been subject to delays.

Argentina adopted comprehensive legislation to regulate broadcast and print media in 2009. The impact of this legislation on freedom of expression will depend on how it is implemented by a new regulatory body. Argentina has yet to adopt legislation to regulate access to official information.

Significant ongoing human rights concerns include deplorable prison conditions, torture, and arbitrary restrictions on women’s reproductive rights.


From an old article -- URL not available

Article was published sometime prior to 2015

TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT - In February, mobile phone images of the torture in 2010 of two prisoners by prison guards in San Felipe prison, Mendoza province, came to light. Prisoners Matías Tello and Andrés Yacante, who were suspected by prison officers of involvement in circulating the images, received threats and were transferred to Almafuerte prison where they alleged that they were tortured. By the end of the year nobody had been brought to justice.

EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE - Police used excessive force during the removal in July of 700 families from a private estate in Libertador San Martín, Jujuy province. Four people, including a policeman, were killed and at least 30 injured. The police officer in charge was removed from his post and the provincial government Minister of Security and Justice resigned.


For more articles:: Search Amnesty International Website

[accessed 25 December 2018]


Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 16 January 2013]

[accessed 2 July 2019]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – Although the law prohibits such practices and provides penalties for torture similar to those for homicide, some police and prison guards continued to employ torture and brutality. Human rights organizations reported police brutality and occasional torture of suspects. While the government investigated reports of police brutality in prisons, there were few convictions in comparison to the number of complaints.

In another case documented by the independent Buenos Aires Provincial Memory Commission, Cristian Lopez Toledo and Claudio Marquez Laineker, prisoners at the Buenos Aires provincial prison in La Plata, were tortured with electric shocks after they requested to meet with the Memory Commission during its visit to the prison in August. In the subsequent trial, expert witnesses verified the commission's claims.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 2   Civil Liberties: 2   Status: Free

2009 Edition

[accessed 16 January 2013]

LONG URL   ç 2009 Country Reports begin on Page 21

[accessed 11 May 2020]

Police have been accused of misconduct including a growing number of extrajudicial executions. The Buenos Aires provincial police have been involved in drug trafficking, extortion, and other crimes. Arbitrary arrests and abuse by police are rarely punished in the courts owing to intimidation of witnesses and judges, particularly in Buenos Aires province. The torture of detainees in police custody in the province is endemic, and the provincial penal service is rife with corruption. Prison conditions remain substandard throughout the country.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, " Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Argentina",, [accessed <date>]