Supreme Court Justice Carmen Argibay passed away this afternoon at 74 years old. She was suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and had been hospitalized since May 1st. She had been a member of the highest federal court in Argentina since 2005.

According to hospital sources, she died from cardiac arrest. Argibay was also dealing with renal problems.

She was a political prisoner during the last dictatorship, where she was detained for over nine months in the Villa Devoto prison even though she was never charged or taken to trial.

She was strongly in favor of an independent Judiciary and avoided any contact with the Executive unless it was done through official channels.

Argibay was an atheist and repeatedly expressed her support for the right of women to choose over their own body – which meant she supported the decriminalization of abortion and put her at odds with the Catholic Church.

She was nominated to the Supreme Court by late President Néstor Kirchner in became a member on February 3, 2005. She was the first woman to be nominated to the highest federal court by a democratic government in Argentina.

Before Kirchner suggested her in 2003, Argibay was working as an ad litem attorney at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, investigating human rights violations in the former Yugoslavia.

(Featured Photo via YouTube)