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  HOME | Chile

Chile Supreme Court Reduces Sentences for Pinochet Human Rights Offenders
In another 3-2 decision Friday, the Supreme Court ruled against victims' family members who had sued the state for reparations for the dictatorship-era crimes.

SANTIAGO -- The Chilean Supreme Court has reduced sentences handed down to five agents of the country's 1973-1990 military regime for the disappearance of two leftists, judiciary officials said.

The ruling, which cannot be appealed, was issued in a case involving the kidnapping and disappearance of Carmen Diaz Daricarrere and Eugenio Ivan Montti Cordero, two members of the Revolutionary Left Movement who were detained on Feb. 13, 1975, in Santiago by agents of Gen. Augusto Pinochet's notorious secret police force, known as DINA.

Daricarrere was a nursing student at the University of Chile while Montti had completed his engineering studies at the State Technical University; survivors have testified to seeing them at DINA's "Villa Grimaldi" torture and detention center before trace of them was lost.

On Jan. 21, an appeals court in Santiago had upheld a 15-year sentence given to ex-DINA chief retired Gen. Manuel Contreras and two erstwhile colonels, Marcelo Moren Brito and Rolf Wenderoth.

That court also sentenced ex-Brig. Gen. Miguel Krasnoff and former non-commissioned officer Basclay Zapata to five years behind bars.

But the Supreme Court, in a 3-2 ruling, reduced Contreras' sentence to seven years; the judges also reduced the sentences for Moren and Wenderoth to four years each and those of Krasnoff and Zapata to 541 days.

All of these individuals, however, are currently in prison serving sentences for other human rights violations. In the case of the 79-year-old Contreras, he has already been sentenced to two life terms for kidnappings, forced disappearances and extrajudicial assassinations.

In another 3-2 decision Friday, the Supreme Court ruled against victims' family members who had sued the state for reparations for the dictatorship-era crimes.

The 1973-1990 regime headed by Pinochet, who died in December 2006 of a heart attack at the age of 91, is blamed for some 3,000 deaths, and many of the bodies have never been found.

 

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