Chile court convicts 106 of abductions in dictatorship

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jun 03 2017 05:23 AM

A Chilean judge convicted 106 former secret police officers Friday over the abduction of political dissidents who disappeared under Augusto Pinochet's military dictatorship.

Judge Hernan Crisosto handed the defendants jail sentences of between three and 20 years.

He convicted them of being authors or accomplices of the disappearance of 16 members of leftist opposition groups in 1974 and 1975.

He also ruled that the dictatorship tried to cover up the disappearances by publishing false claims that the victims had been killed in fighting between rival leftist groups.

In compensation for that, he ordered the Chilean state to pay $7.5 million to the victims' families.

Pinochet came to power in 1973 in a military coup and ruled until 1990. He died in 2006 without being brought to justice.

The courts are investigating 1,200 other cases of alleged human rights violations by his regime.

More than 3,000 regime opponents were killed or went missing during Pinochet's rule, according to researchers at Diego Portales University.

As in thousands of cases of "disappearances" under right-wing dictatorships in South America, no one was tried for the murder of those who disappeared because the bodies were never found.