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Argentine grandmothers attack Pope Francis over 'Dirty War' era

Published on Mar 16, 2013 12:56 PM

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) - An Argentinian human rights group set up to find babies stolen during the country's "Dirty War" on Friday accused newly elected Pope Francis of failing to speak out against the country's former military rulers.

The famous Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo organisation, founded in 1977 to help locate children kidnapped during the military era, said Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, had not done enough to help victims of rights abuses.

The criticism came amid heightened scrutiny of Pope Francis's actions during Argentina's "Dirty War" in which 30,000 people died or disappeared from 1976 to 1983.

Earlier Friday, the Vatican rejected claims Pope Francis had failed to do all he could to protect two priests kidnapped and tortured during military rule, when he was head of the Jesuit order in Argentina at the time.

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