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Argentine ex-economy minister Martinez de Hoz dies

Saturday - 3/16/2013, 3:38pm  ET

FILE - In this May 25, 1978 file photo, Argentina's Economy Minister Dr. Jose Alfredo Martinez de Hoz, right, talks with U.S. Treasury Secretary W. Michael Blumenthal at the conclusion of the International Monetary conference in Mexico City. According to local media, Martinez de Hoz, who was the economy minister during Argentina's last military dictatorship, died Saturday, March 16, 2013. He was 87 and was under house arrest at the time of his death. (AP Photo, File)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Former economy minister Jose Alfredo Martinez de Hoz has died at age 87 while awaiting sentencing for human rights abuses during the military dictatorship.

The state news agency Telam said the exact cause of his death Saturday was not immediately announced.

Martinez de la Hoz was Argentina's economy minister from 1976-1981 under military coup leader Gen. Jorge Rafael Videla.

After the dictatorship ended, Martinez de la Hoz was tried for rights abuses. He benefited from a 1990 pardon by then-President Carlos Menem, but the charges were restored after the Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that the pardon was unconstitutional.

Specifically, Martinez de la Hoz was accused of being among those responsible for the kidnapping and extortion of a prominent businessman and his son, something he long denied.


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