Former Argentine dictator Jorge Rafael Videla has been convicted of executing a systematic plan to steal babies from prisoners who were kidnapped, tortured and killed during the military junta's war on leftist dissenters three decades ago.

The baby thefts set Argentina's 1976-1983 military junta apart from all the others that ruled in Latin America at the time. Videla and other Argentine military and police officials were determined to remove any trace of the armed leftist guerrilla movement that they felt threatened the country's future.

The dirty war eventually claimed 13,000 victims according to official records. Many of them were pregnant women who gave birth in clandestine maternity wards.

Videla was tried along with Argentina's last dictator, Reynaldo Bignone, and a handful of other former military and police officials.