The two men helped to abduct, torture employees as part of the country's 'Dirty War'
Pedro Muller and Hector Sibilla, former executives for Ford Argentina, have been sentenced for their role in various human rights abuses conducted by the military dictatorship, which ran the country from 1976 to 1983.
The two were found guilty for their role in the kidnapping and torture 24 Ford employees from the company's factory in Buenos Aires in 1976.
According to Reuters, court papers state the pair provided photographs, home addresses and other details of victims to the dictatorship's agents.
The pair also allowed the military regime to setup a detention centre within the factory's recreation area, where victims were interrogated.
AFP reports the court found the two men were "necessary participants in the illegal deprivation of liberty, aggravated by the use of violence and threats", and Sibilla was present during a torture session.
Muller was sentenced to 10 years, and Sibilla 12 years. Prosecutors had asked for the maximum 25 year penalty.
With the support of the country's elite and the United States government, a military dictatorship launched a coup and took control of Argentina in 1976.
During the self-styled "Dirty War", the military's death squads sought out to stamp out resistance, and targeted people with socialist, Peronist and leftist tendencies.
It's estimated up to 30,000 people were killed by the right-wing dictatorship, with some reportedly thrown from helicopters into the ocean while they were still alive.
“It is clear that Ford Motor Company had control of the Argentinian subsidiary during the ‘70s. Therefore, there is a direct responsibility of Ford Motor Company and that might give us the possibility to bring the case to the US courts,” Tomas Ojea Quintana, a lawyer representing victims, told Reuters.
The six-year statute of limitations may make it impossible to seek redress within the American system.
In addition, thanks to Supreme Court rulings regarding corporations and their liability for abuses occurring overseas, plaintiffs need to prove Ford Argentina was "completely controlled" by head office.