To say that the period from the late 1970s through the 1980s was a tumultuous time for the country of Argentina is a substantial understatement. From the overthrow of the government by a military junta to years of repression and tactics designed to keep the populace in check, this era serves as one of the darkest in the history of the country.
However, thanks to recent trials, hearings, and convictions, the world now sees that the fear and pain brought upon the people of Argentina stretched far beyond the actions of the government – and directly into a facility operated by the Ford Motor Company.
In his look at this breaking news, The Guardian's Uki Goñi explains that Pedro Müller, 86, and Héctor Sibila, 90, both former executives of Ford's Argentinian subsidiary, were integral members in a program that oversaw employee abductions and torture at the behest of the country's then government, sometimes even occurring onsite at the Ford facility in General Pacheco. After years of fighting over the ability to file charges against these two former members of the company, a trial beginning last year has reached its conclusion – and led to Müller and Sibila serving as the first two executives from a foreign company to be charged with human rights violations in Argentina.
As much of a black eye as these convictions may be to the storied history of Ford, things could be on the verge of getting even worse for the team over in Dearborn, Michigan. Specifically, Goñi goes on to note that the plaintiffs in this case may soon bring suits against Ford on United States (U.S.) soil as they continue to seek justice for the crimes committed by Müller and Sibila.
Outside of the potential for major legal problems here in the U.S., the revelations coming forth from Buenos Aires also call into question the commitment to ethical business practices engendered by this mainstay of the automotive marketplace.
Want to delve even deeper into the story behind the conviction of two former Ford executives on charges of human rights violations? Then be sure to click the link below for the full scoop from The Guardian's Uki Goñi.