Wanted official commits suicide on TV

November 23, 2008 12:24:57 PM PST
An ex-Argentine police commander committed suicide in front of rolling television cameras as he was about to be arrested for alleged human rights violations during the country's dictatorship. "Maria, goodbye," Mario Ferreyra said to his wife before lifting the .45-caliber revolver and shooting himself in the temple.

Ferreyra, 63, took his life on Friday as national authorities arrived at his home to arrest him on charges in connection with the disappearance, torture and death of dissidents during Argentina's 1976-83 dictatorship.

He had just finished an interview with cable TV station Cronica, whose cameras were still rolling when he took out the gun and fired it.

The TV station later broadcast the images.

Ferreyra's wife professed his innocence, saying police "have unfairly invented a crime against my husband."

"He has left me documents to demonstrate his innocence," she told reporters.

A wake was held for the father of four children at his home on Saturday. His burial was scheduled for Sunday.

During Argentina's military dictatorship, hundreds of people were made "to disappear" for their association with suspected dissidents.

Official records put the number of disappeared at 13,000, while human rights groups say the toll is closer to 30,000.

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