In 1973, at the beginning of the Pinochet regime, fifteen opponents were summarily executed. On November 9, the Chilean justice sentenced eleven former soldiers. Among them, a former senior officer. A first.
"This is the first conviction, for state crimes committed under the military regime, that affects a former high commander of the armed forces", highlighted La Tercera.
At the head of the army from 2002 to 2006, Juan Emilio Cheyre was sentenced in first instance to three years of house arrest for complicity in fifteen murders committed at the beginning of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990 ).
The "caravan of death"
In October 1973, a few weeks after the military coup against Socialist President Salvador Allende, fifteen opponents were executed in the north of the country without prior trial. A "caravan of death" then roamed the country to eliminate opponents to Pinochet. Juan Emilio Cheyre and his supervisor then conceal the facts.
The accused Cheyre, at the time lieutenant and assistant commander of the regiment, despite this indisputable massacre, has not evaded his task of erasing traces ", reports the Santiago daily quoting the judgment.
Sorry for the victims
If the court could not determine whether General Cheyre had participated in the killings or not, the other 10 defendants were sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. The dictatorship of Pinochet, who died in 2006 without having been tried for these crimes, has left more than 3,200 people dead and missing.
"In 2004, Cheyre published the text 'Army of Chile: the end of a vision', in which he assumed responsibility for the institution for crimes committed between 1973 and 1990, asking his victims for forgiveness"recalls the newspaper.
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