Chile president vows to continue prosecuting Pinochet regime rights abuses

[JURIST] Chilean President Michelle Bachelet [BBC profile] has said that Chile would continue to prosecute human rights abuse cases against those involved in the 1975 Operation Colombo [Wikipedia backgrounder] massacre. Bachelet's comments [press release] came during the 21st anniversary of the massacre, one of the most infamous assassination incidents in Chile's history. Recently, right-wing politicians have expressed criticism of the prosecutions, saying that Chile [JURIST news archive] should forgive and pardon some of the indicted officers accused of having a role in the atrocity that left more than 3,000 dead.

Former Chilean Dictator Augusto Pinochet [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] has been indicted at least 4 times and has faced hundreds of lawsuits regarding his involvement in Operation Colombo. An appeals court recently held that Pinochet is healthy enough to stand trial [JURIST report] and Chile has considered lifting Pinochet's sovereign immunity to allow prosecutions to proceed against him in multiple human rights cases, including alleged torture at Villa Grimaldi [JURIST report], crimes committed as part of the so-called Caravan of Death [JURIST report] and alleged kidnappings during Operation Condor [JURIST reports]. Pinochet has repeatedly claimed that those who were allegedly disappeared during his 21-year reign were killed in combat. AP has more.

 

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