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Chilean Justice System to Probe Allende's Death

World  (tags: conflict, death, freedoms, government, humanrights, interesting, politics, world, war, usa )

- 3003 days ago -
SANTIAGO, Chile -- Chilean judicial officials vowed Thursday to investigate the death of President Salvador Allende for the first time, 37 years after the socialist leader was found shot through the head


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ewoud k (68)
Thursday January 27, 2011, 2:27 pm
Chilean justice system to probe Allende's death


SANTIAGO, Chile -- Chilean judicial officials vowed Thursday to investigate the death of President Salvador Allende for the first time, 37 years after the socialist leader was found shot through the head with a machine gun during a withering attack on the presidential palace.

Allende died during the Sept. 11, 1973, coup led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who governed as a dictator until March 11, 1990, and died in 2006. Authorities have never before opened a criminal probe of Allende's death, which many believe to have been a suicide.

Chile's truth commission reported in 1991 that the Pinochet dictatorship killed 3,797 people. Most of those cases have been investigated, leading to human rights trials for some 600 military figures and a small number of civilian collaborators. About 150 have been convicted, including feared secret police chief Miguel Contreras, now imprisoned for dozens of crimes against humanity.

But 726 deaths were never investigated, including Allende's.

Beatriz Pedrals, a prosecutor in the appellate court in Santiago, said she decided to probe all the cases arising from the truth commission report that were never prosecuted. In some instances, survivors didn't want to press charges. Others simply fell through the cracks.

"What wasn't investigated, the justice system will investigate," Pedrals said. "This will be resolved in the proper manner."

The work now falls to Mario Carroza, an experienced investigative judge who already is handling hundreds of other human rights cases.

Judge Carroza described it as "work that is more than important, a tremendous responsibility." He told reporters that he would seek information from a variety of sources, including a judge now investigating the deaths of Allende's comrades, who disappeared after surrendering to the military outside the palace.

Allende and a small group of bodyguards and allies had tried to resist the military's attack on La Moneda, but couldn't stop soldiers from penetrating the building. To save his comrades, Allende finally said they should leave together, but as they fled through the chaos and smoke of the bombarded building, he turned back and returned to his office alone.

According to many versions, including that of his personal doctor, Allende shot himself with a machine gun Fidel Castro had given him, rather than surrender.

Most of Allende's relatives came to accept that he committed suicide as well, but there was no formal investigation, and some Chileans, including filmmaker Miguel Littin, have insisted that Allende was killed by the military.

The president of Allende's Socialist Party, Osvaldo Andrade, applauded the decision to investigate.

"Truth and justice remains a pending subject in Chile and whatever is done so that the truth comes out will always be well received by us," Andrade said. "There remains a deficit of truth and a deficit of justice in Chile and we hope that the deficit becomes ever more small."

Chile was led by a center-left coalition for 20 years after Pinochet was forced from office by a popular referendum. Fears that Chile would retreat on human rights after President Sebastian Pinera's center-right coalition won election last year were confirmed for some last month when the interior ministry laid off some key human rights lawyers, citing budgetary pressures.

But Pinera's spokeswoman Ena von Baer said the government supports the new investigations.

"We respect all the courts' decisions and as a government we believe that all the situations that need to be investigated should be investigated," she said.


Associated Press Writer Michael Warren contributed to this report from Buenos Aires.

Sheryl G (359)
Friday January 28, 2011, 9:27 am
This is good, Truth is always best.

Krasimira B (175)
Friday January 28, 2011, 9:42 am
Noted with hope, thank you Ewoud.

Parsifal S (99)
Friday January 28, 2011, 11:55 pm
We won't defend Henry Kissinger's doctrine?
He , the Peace Nobel Price ticketted war criminal, long term US presidental adviser, CFR, Bilderberg and TC member?


by Peter Kornbluh

Parsifal S (99)
Saturday January 29, 2011, 12:00 am
Nixon Joked with Kissinger over Allende Assassination

In case the link, provided does not work anymore, try Google cache, it's still there.
Kissinger is wanted for severe war crimes in....

Nixon Joked with Kissinger over Allende Assassination

Audrey Wildlife-Matters (61)
Saturday January 29, 2011, 10:31 am
This sounds like the evidence is pretty much out in the open.

Natalie Away J (125)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 6:56 am
Better late than never, I hope they find the truth.
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