Pinochet loses immunity in human rights cases


There is welcome news this week that Pinochet has been stripped of his immunity and can be charged with murder in the Operation Colombo case. Augusto Pinochet, who presided over a cruel dictatorship in Chile for 17 years which cost 3,197 people their lives, did until recently, enjoy strong support at home and was welcome as a guest in most countries, notably the UK. Since his arrest in London in 1999 the tide has been turning on the tyrant. Most notably, the discovery of the theft of 125 million dollars lost most of the support he enjoyed domestically. This has made it easier for Chilean courts to attempt to bring him to justice in relation to the thousands of murders that he oversaw while in power.

A Chilean court stripped ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet of immunity from prosecution on Wednesday so that he can face new human rights charges in 29 cases of people who disappeared during his 17-year rule and are presumed dead.

The cases are part of Operation Colombo, which involved the disappearance of 119 members of an armed revolutionary group in the mid 1970s. Their bodies have never been found.

Via Reuters. Click here for some background information on Pinochet.
There is also a fantastic Flickr photoset called Chile, 1983, a year of discontent. Well worth a visit. In fact, all of Marcelo Montecino's photographs are fantastic.