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Roberto Viola; Leader of Argentine Regime

October 03, 1994

Roberto Viola, 69, the lieutenant general who was president of Argentina's brutal military regime for nine months in 1981. Viola was a leader of the 1976-83 military dictatorship. Under the hard-line regime, at least 9,000 Argentines died in a "dirty war" against alleged leftists and other suspected opponents. In 1985, two years after democracy was restored, Viola received a 16 1/2-year prison sentence. He was freed when President Carlos Menem pardoned key figures from the dictatorship in December, 1990. Viola was the second of four de facto military presidents, succeeding Jorge Videla, who took over after the March, 1976, coup that overthrew President Isabel Peron. In Buenos Aires on Friday of a heart attack.

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