Chile’s Pinochet had 40 000 victims – report

2011-08-19 07:05

Santiago – More than 40 000 people were either killed, illegally arrested and tortured or “disappeared” during the 1973-1990 dictatorship of the late general Augusto Pinochet, Chilean officials said in a news report.

The report is the third government tally on junta-era victims in 20 years of democracy, and increases the number of victims by 9 800.

The report was produced by the National Commission of Political Imprisonment and Torture, a group re-activated by outgoing president Michelle Bachelet in late 2009 to update figures from a government 2004 report on victims.

In an 18-month probe, members of the commission took testimony from more than 32 000 people, but most of them were left out because they did not meet the group’s strict criteria for the definition of victims.

Rights groups however say the official figure of 40 280 victims is less than half of the real number.

Lorena Pizarro, president of a leading rights group representing regime victims, told AFP that the real number is likely more than 100 000.

Slightly more than 700 former military, police and civilians under the dictatorship have been sentenced or prosecuted for crimes against humanity.

Of that number, only around 70 are in jail. 

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