Pinochet 'knew details of rights abuses'

2012-12-11 09:07
Late Chilean general Augusto Pinochet on his 91st birthday. (File, AFP)

Late Chilean general Augusto Pinochet on his 91st birthday. (File, AFP)

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Santiago - Late Chilean general Augusto Pinochet was well aware of crimes committed by his secret police during the country's military dictatorship, a retired Supreme Court judge said on Monday.

Alejandro Solis said that Manuel Contreras, who headed Chile's DINA secret police, took orders from Pinochet and reported to him about his forces' activities at regular meetings.

Contreras "took orders from him [Pinochet] daily and was accountable for these orders, so you have to assume that Pinochet had direct and precise knowledge of the crimes being committed", Solis told Radio Cooperativa on the sixth anniversary of Pinochet's death.

Pinochet seized power in 1973 by ousting President Salvador Allende and ruled until 1990.

More than 3 000 people died or went missing as a result of political repression during the Pinochet dictatorship.

The country returned to democracy in 1990. Pinochet died in 2006, without ever having been put on trial.

A total of 76 police officers have been convicted of abuses as of May of this year, and 67 of them have been sent to jail, according to a tally by Diego Portales University.

Contreras, aged 83, is serving a jail term of more than 200 years for crimes against humanity in the Pinochet era.

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