Former Peru dictator charged with kidnapping

By The Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 10, 2015 at 2:51 p.m.

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LIMA, Peru (AP) — A Peruvian judge has ordered former military dictator Francisco Morales Bermudez to stand trial on kidnapping charges for the 1978 abduction of 13 opponents he allegedly ordered flown to Argentina on a military plane.

The 13 included three journalists. They were later deported by Argentina's military rulers to Mexico and Europe after international pressure for their release.

Peru's judiciary confirmed via email Thursday that Judge Rafael Martinez issued the order. It said Martinez also ordered two of Morales' then-ministers to stand trial. Kidnapping is punishable by a minimum of 20 years in prison.

The 91-year-old Morales ruled Peru from 1975-1980.

He was among a group of South American military dictators who colluded at the time, in what was known as Operation Condor, to suppress dissent through forced disappearances and killings.

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