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Uruguay raises the red flag for communist murdered by dictatorship

URUGUAYANS raised the red flag for Eduardo Bleier who was buried on Tuesday, 44 years after he was brutally murdered by the country’s military regime.

Roses were laid in tribute to the communist activist after DNA tests by an Argentinian laboratory confirmed remains found inside a military building in August belonged to him.

Mr Bleier was a student and was tortured and mutilated before being killed. His ashes were thrown into a river.

But a few fragments of his body were discovered close by decades later.

Relatives of those who disappeared under the military dictatorship that ruled over Uruguay between 1973 and 1985 have insisted for decades that their bodies were hidden in an army mortuary.

Uruguay’s Truth and Justice Task Force co-ordinator Felipe Michelini stated at the funeral service that about 200 men, women and children are still formally “missing.”

“In our country, state terrorism ran over democratic institutions and consolidated systematic torture, rape and sexual abuse of detainees, prolonged imprisonment, extrajudicial executions and forced disappearance. Victims were, and are, helpless people,” he said.

Uruguayan authorities have refused to recognise the state’s role in the repression, torture and disappearance of thousands of political opponents after the 1973 military coup.

Former Uruguayan president Jose Mujica, himself a political prisoner for 13 years, said that the truth must now be uncovered.

“More important than eventual justice is truth. The truth is the only way to heal,” he concluded.

Operation Condor — a US-backed campaign of state terror — was formally established in November 1975 to eradicate communist or Soviet influence and suppress movements that challenged neoliberalism.

Tens of thousands of political dissidents were disappeared across Latin and South America during the 1970s and 1980s by US-backed military dictatorships.

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