Ten years ago, in November 2006, Al Jazeera English was launched. To mark that anniversary, we’ve created REWIND, which updates some of the channel’s most memorable and award-winning documentaries of the past decade. We find out what happened to some of the characters in those films and ask how the stories have developed in the years since our cameras left.
Ten years ago, Police Sergeant Julio Hector Simon, now 77, became the first torturer to be convicted for crimes against humanity in Argentina. In the 1970s, he was working in the clandestine detention centres that functioned throughout the country.
Today, he has been abandoned by family, friends and colleagues while he serves a life sentence. His only acquaintances are his jailers, a former victim called, Gerardo Bruzzessi, and filmmaker Rodrigo Vazquez.
According to Gerardo, Julio and two other interrogators tortured him with electricity and sodomised him while keeping him blindfolded and naked from December 1977 to July 1978. Gerardo was only 17 at the time.
Six months after his illegal detention, Gerardo was left outside a psychiatric hospital, blindfolded and shackled. He fled to Australia, where he obtained a PhD in Political Science and became a karate black-belt. He spent years planning his revenge on his former torturers.
In 2009, he finally met one of them, Julio Simon, and People & Power was there with him to record what happened.