Chile Sentences 33 Pinochet-Era Agents for Disappearing Communists

teleSUR | 23 March, 2017

Archive photo of anti-Pinochet protesters during a march outside of the country

Archive photo of anti-Pinochet protesters during a march outside of the country’s Supreme Court in Santiago de Chile. | Photo: EFE

Chile’s Supreme court sentenced 33 former intelligence agents of Augusto Pinochet dictatorship for the enforced disappearances of five communist activists in 1987 who were kidnapped, drugged and dumped out to sea.

The court sentenced the defendants to between three and 15 years in prison for the abduction and disappearance of the five members of the Manuel Rodriguez Patriot Front, the militant wing of the country’s Communist Party.

The longest sentences were given to the former head of the National Information Center, General Hugo Salas Wenzel, and Major Alvaro Corbalan Castilla, both of whom will spend 15 years behind bars.

21 other officials were sentenced to 10 years in prison for their involvement in the event.

The Supreme Court also ruled that the families of the victims will receive compensation from the state amounting to US$575,000 for the families of the victims.

The victims, Julian Pena Maltes, Alejandro Pinochet Arenas, Manuel Sepulveda Sanchez, Gonzalo Fuenzalida Navarrete and Julio Muñoz Otarola, were disappeared after being arrested by agents in retaliation for the kidnapping of Colonel Carlos Carreno in 1987.

During former President Sebastian Piñera’s candidacy launch on Tuesday at the National Museum of Natural History, small groups shouted slogans in favor of the former dictator on several occasions, sparking outrage on social media. Piñera later said he did not support the chants.

WATCH: The 1973 Chilean Coup

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