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  HOME | Chile

Chilean Judge Oversees Re-Enactment of Militant’s 1974 Death

SANTIAGO – A judge trying to learn the exact circumstances of the 1974 death of a leftist militant at the hands of Augusto Pinochet’s secret police moved the trial to a home in the Chilean capital on Tuesday for a re-enactment of the fatal shooting.

Miguel Enriquez Espinosa, leader of the Movement of the Revolutionary Left, or MIR, was fatally shot on Oct. 5, 1974, inside a modest one-story house in Santiago’s San Miguel neighborhood.

The aim of the re-enactment was to determine whether Espinosa was killed outright in an exchange of gunfire with members of the DINA secret police or simply executed after the battle was over, Judge Mario Carroza said.

Participants in the exercise included former DINA agent Miguel Krassnoff and Enriquez’s then-partner, Carmen Castillo, who was six months pregnant at the time of the events.

Krassnoff, who led the DINA operation against Enriquez, was no more than 5 meters (16 feet) from Castillo at several moments during the re-enactment.

Carroza expressed satisfaction that he was able to elicit testimony from Krassnoff regarding his own actions and those of his DINA subordinates.

Following the session, Krassnoff was taken back to Punta Peuco prison, where he is serving a de-facto life sentence on dozens of convictions for his activities under the 1973-1990 Pinochet regime.

Enriquez, Castillo and two other MIR militants were at the house in San Miguel when scores of DINA agents – backed up by tanks and helicopters – descended on the residence.

Enriquez was struck 10 times by bullets in the course of an intense 25-minute battle that left Castillo wounded.

The two other MIR fighters managed to get away.

The plaintiffs in the current case say Enriquez was wounded but still alive when the DINA squad entered the home and that the agents chose to finish him off rather than take him into custody.

More than 1,250 MIR activists died in the struggle against the Pinochet government.

 

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