Chilean judge sentences murderers of US-American citizens Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi

[In the exposure of the murders, 4 decades ago, of Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi, the US-spnsored Pinochet coup against Chilean President Salvador Allende, the role of the US and the terrorism master-minded by Henry Kissinger came into public view.  The fact that the murderers were not successfully prosecuted for 41 years is proof that US control  has been effective, even long after the fact.  And now the Chilean prosecution aims to put some of this embarassing history behind them as they sentence two of the murderous perpetrators.  —  Frontlines ed.]

Tlaxcala, 2/23/2015 
Translated by  Richard Ferguson, Edited by  Supriyo Chatterjee  
Almost 42 years after the events, Special Judge Jorge Zepeda Arancibia sentenced two intelligence officers for the murders of US-Americans Charles Edmond Horman, a 31-year-old journalist, and Frank Randall Teruggi Bombatch, a 24-year-old student, shot in the Estadio Nacional (National Stadium) days into the coup headed by Pinochet. 

The 276-page judgment sentences Army intelligence official Pedro Octavio Espinoza Bravo, who serves several other sentences for assassinations, to seven years of prison for the murders,while Air Force officer Rafael Agustín González Berdugo will serve two years of probation as an accomplice to Horman’s homicide.

Judge Zepeda’s exhaustive investigations confirmed the direct intervention of the United States in the coup through Operation Unitas, carried out in Valparaíso simultaneously with the offensive, and further revealed the ruthless persecution that the United States ordered the Chilean intelligence services to undertake against American radicals in Chile sympathetic to Salvador Allende, or simply interested in learning at close quarters and living among the peaceful revolutionary process led by the Head of State overthrown by it. In the Estadio Nacional up to 24 detained Americans were registered (Horman and Teruggi weren’t), both men and women, including students, academics, writers and two Maryknoll priests.

Charles Horman                                                  Frank Teruggi

The instigators of and accessories to this persecution of American citizens were their fellow countryman, Ray Elliots Charles, Marine Captain and chief of the American military mission, supported by the Ambassador Nathaniel Davis. Far from protecting their compatriots, they covered up the murders and detentions of Americans, going as far as providing false information to family members like Edmund Horman, Charles’s father, who moved to Chile in search of his son.

Chile: Thousands March for Mapuche Resistance Day

Santiago: Thousands of people gathered yesterday in the Plaza Italia to march through the Alameda in support of the Mapuche resistance. The march ended in a violent police repression.

The demonstration was called by leaders of groups in conflict zones such as Maule, Arauco and Osorno. The main demands of the marchers were the end to the militarization of their territory, to stop the criminalization of the Mapuche movement and freedom of Mapuche political prisoners.
The march also coincided with the anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in Chile – a day that indigenous communities do not think should be celebrated as a holiday.
 

Today They March, For Their Land, For Their Freedom of Their Indigenous #Mapuche People in #Chile on #ColumbusDay

Tensions have been mounting in Chile amid recent repressions and detentions of Mapuche activists. Mapuche José Mauricio Quintriqueo Huaiquimil was killed on October 1st after being run over by a farm worker on a tractor during a peaceful occupation of their ancestral land. Mapuche responded by setting up improvised roadblocks which prompted a militarized mobilization of local police working with special forces. Continue reading

Chile: Police Special Forces Evict Mapuche Community From Contested Lands

By • Oct 21, 2013

 

“Welcome to the Temucuicui Autonomous Community” Photo by Donmatas1 on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

“Welcome to the Temucuicui Autonomous Community” Photo by Donmatas1 on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

In the early morning of Wednesday, October 9, riot police and members of the Group of Special Operations (GOPE in Spanish), an elite, special unit of the Chilean Police, raided the Temucuicui Autonomous Community [es], an indigenous Mapuche community located near the town of Ercilla in the Araucania Region of Southern Chile.A self-denominated “autonomous” community, Temucuicui has occupied what they consider to be ancestral lands for over two years. They have resisted several eviction attempts, and their resistance has landed many community leaders and members in jail.

The land where the community lives is part of what the Mapuche call “Wallmapu”, meaning Mapuche country, where clashes between police forces and Mapuche activists are common. Currently, these lands are contested, but legally owned by landowners Rene Urban, Martin Ruf and the Zeit family. Continue reading

Chile: Indigenous groups mark Columbus Day with protests

October 13, 2013, Al Jazeera

Some of the protesters threw rocks and other objects at police after the main, peaceful march earlier Saturday.  Luis Hidalgo/AP

Some of the protesters threw rocks and other objects at police after the main, peaceful march earlier Saturday.  Luis Hidalgo/AP

Protesters clashed with police in Chile’s capital Saturday during an anti-Columbus Day march organized by Indigenous groups, with activists calling for the return of ancestral lands and the right to self-determination on the 521-year anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas.

Demonstrators in Santiago threw rocks and other objects at police who responded with water cannons. At least 10 protesters were detained by police, local media reported.

More than 15,000 people participated in the march, organized by the country’s largest indigenous group, the Mapuches, who have been in a long struggle with the government over ancestral land taken from them during colonization.

While Columbus Day celebrations took place across Latin America, the Mapuche affirmed, “we have nothing to celebrate”, according to the Santiago Times.

A press release by the group complained of mistreatment by the state, particularly against Mapuche political prisoners, and on-going land disputes in the south. Continue reading

Latin America: thousands of indignados join the “occupy” protests

WW4, Weekly News Update on Tue, 10/18/2011

Joining others in more than 900 cities around the world, Latin American activists protested on Oct. 15 to demonstrate their discontent with the global economic system. The demonstrations got a significant boost from Occupy Wall Street, a US movement that started with an action in New York on Sept. 17, but the Latin American protests also referenced the Real Democracy Now movement that developed in Spain last spring; the Spanish protests were inspired in turn by protests in Tunisia and Egypt at the beginning of the year. In Spanish-speaking countries the movement is widely known as “15-M,” from May 15, the day when protests started in Madrid. Like the Spanish protesters, Latin American participants call themselves los indignados and las indignadas—”the angry ones,” or “the indignant ones.”

Thousands of Chileans marked the global day of action by marching with music and dancing from the University of Chile campus in central Santiago along the Alameda avenue to the O’Higgins Park. They called for reform of the political system and for a constituent assembly to write a new constitution to replace the current document, which was created under the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). The protesters also backed the demands of student strikers for a free public education system and expressed opposition to the HidroAysén project, a plan to build a complex of five dams that environmentalists say would threaten fjords and valleys in the Patagonia region [see Updates #1081, 1100]. Organizers estimated that 5,000 people participated; the police didn’t give an estimate. Similar protests were scheduled for other cities, including Arica, Iquique, Coquimbo, La Serena and Valparaíso. (Radio Universidad de Chile, Oct. 15; Observador Global, Argentina, Oct. 15; Adital, Brazil, Oct. 14)

More than 1,000 Argentines, many wearing masks or costumes, marched on Oct. 15 from the Plaza del Congreso de la Nación in central Buenos Aires to the Plaza de Mayo. The marchers included Juan Marino, the leader of the Revolutionary Piquetero Tendency (TPR), part of a movement of the unemployed that developed in response to the neoliberal policies of former president Carlos Saúl Menem (1989-1999) and the financial crisis of 2001. “It can’t go on like this,” said another marcher, Bernardo Molina. “The rich created the crisis, and we, the poor, always end up paying.” Argentines also demonstrated in La Plata, Córdoba, Mar del Plata, Rosario, Mendoza, Tucumán, Jujuy and other cities. (People’s Daily, China, Oct. 16)

In Brazil, some 200 people, mostly youths, gathered under a heavy rain at Sao Paulo’s Museo de Arte on Paulista Avenue in the banking and commercial district, while others met in the Largo de Sao Bento, a colonial building in the center of the city. Some participants were from political parties, but one group of youths carried a sign saying they rejected parties. There were also protests in Rio de Janeiro and other cities. (ANSA, Oct. 15)

About 500 Peruvians marked the global day of action with a gathering at the Plaza San Martín in the center of Lima. Slogans on their signs included: “Wake up,” “Raise your voice, demand change,” and “The earth and the water belong to the people, not to the businesses.” The mobilization was “peaceful, apolitical and nonpartisan,” Luis Álvarez, from the Take the Plaza collective, which had called the protest, told Radio Programas del Perú (RPP). (EFE, Oct. 15, via Qué.es, Spain)

In Colombia about 70 indignados and indignadas met at Bogotá’s National Park to call for a regeneration of the democratic and economic system. The group originally planned to march to Plaza de Bolívar, in front of the presidential palace, but participants decided to stay in the park and develop the movement by holding an assembly in which they exchanged opinions on what should be the principles of the “15-O” (Oct. 15) movement. They also made signs expressing themes of the global movement, such as “Real democracy now,” mixed with references to local issues, such as “No to mining.” (EFE, Oct. 15, via El Espectador Bogotá)

Like their Colombian counterparts, the approximately 400 protesters who gathered at the Monument to the Revolution in Mexico City on Oct. 15 focused on both local and global issues, from the Mexican government’s “war on drugs” to consumerism and fraudulent banking practices. The group that called for the mobilization, the Permanent Assembly of Mexican Indignados, read a communiqué saying that “the country is hurling itself into the disaster of daily and widespread violence; into unemployment and hunger; into the violation of the most fundamental rights; into the destruction of the social fabric and the loss of human values.” “If those below get moving, those above fall down,” “Less tele and more vision,” and “If they won’t let us dream, we won’t let them sleep” were among the signs, along with “We’ve had it up to here” (Estamos hasta la madre), a slogan which has dominated Mexican demonstrations for much of this year [see Update #1079].

There were protests in 20 other Mexican cities, including a sit-in at the Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada de Jalapa plaza in the eastern state of Veracruz and at the Explanada de los Héroes in the central plaza of Monterrey in the northern state of Nuevo León. (Observador Global Oct. 15/11; La Jornada (Mexico) Oct. 16)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Oct. 16.

Chilean students clash with police

October 7, 2011

Riots erupted on the streets of the Chilean capital Santiago after talks between student leaders and the government broke down.

Security forces used water cannon and tear gas to break up gangs of protesters. Students responded with rocks and other missiles.

Over 130 people were arrested and at least 30 people injured in the latest clashes on Thursday. Those hurt included police, protesters and a journalist.

The demonstration kicked off after five hours of talks with the Education Minister Felipe Bulnes stalled over disagreement on how to cut education costs and work towards a free education system, a key demand of the students. They say high costs make further education inaccessible and leave students with massive debts.

Students have been protesting almost daily since June.

Copyright © 2011 euronews

Chile remembers its 9/11

Thousands march to remember more than 3,000 people killed during Pinochet dictatorship that was launched 38 years ago.
Al Jazeera, 11 Sep 2011
Thousands of Chileans have marched in the capital Santiago to remember the more than 3,000 people killed during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet that was launched 38 years ago with a military coup on September 11, 1973.Organised by a group of relatives of those killed, the march on Sunday led to a memorial erected at a cemetery to commemorate the victims of Pinochet’s 17-year long regime.

They marched peacefully through the streets, unable to approach the presidential palace La Moneda because of the tight police cordon.

Salvador Allende, the first and only Marxist to come to power in Chile through a popular vote, died at the palace when military forces surrounded it during the coup.  He is believed to have committed suicide. Continue reading

Chile: Mapuche Teens Takeover Town to End “Police Brutality”

A decades-old is heating up as Chilean cities spend their winter under a blanket of protests. Forty teenagers staged a toma, or takeover, in Ercilla.

byKatie Manning
30 August 2011

Photo By: Leyla Noriega Zegarra

A decades-old debate over a 150-year-old conflict is heating up as Chilean cities spend their winter under a blanket of protests. Forty teenagers, part of 700,000 Mapuche Indians out of 17 million people in Chile, staged a toma, or takeover, in Ercilla. The small forest-farming town, 600 kilometers south of Santiago, frequently hosts brawls between the police force and Mapuche.

Since August 19, the 11-to-17-year-olds occupied the town’s government center. They’re not giving it back, they said, until Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter hears out their grievances over the “constant police presence” and a lack of intercultural education.

The clock is ticking according to Camilo Catrilanca, the 16-year-old spokesperson of the toma. “We’re not going anywhere. We haven’t had an answer,” said Catrilanca.

Mayor of Ercilla José Vilugrón said the government won’t resort to violence to break up the students’ toma. He sent a proposal over to La Moneda, Chile’s presidential palace, with recommendations on how resolve the issues. But the local governor, Miguel Mellado, said if they don’t go willingly, he will forcibly remove the students from the building. Continue reading

Student protests rock Chile’s capital; “democratic” Chile arrests hundreds

 Police in Santiago use tear gas and water cannon to break up students’ march calling for reforms and detain 235 of them.
05 Aug 2011
Students and teachers have participated in huge street demonstrations in recent weeks [Reuters]

Riot police have battled high school and university students in the streets of Chile’s capital, firing water cannons and tear gas and using officers on horseback to break up flaming barricades.

Police detained 235 students and at least two police officers were injured during Thursday’s rallies, which Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter and other Chilean authorities said were illegal.

The students, pressing for major changes to Chile’s underfunded and unequal public education system, set up barricades of burning tires at a dozen points around the city and paralyzing traffic. Continue reading

New movie ‘Nostalgia for the Light’ spotlights the thousands of ‘disappeared’ Chileans under Pinochet’s dictatorshp

Arrests of Chilean activists, followed by torture and execution at secret detention centers

 

[Please read to the end of this article to see a clip from the new movie Nostalgia for the Light (Nostalgie de la Lumière) which screened at the 2010 Festival de Cannes. We have also added an article that describes, with pictures, the horrors of the secret detention centers of the US-backed Pinochet regime, where thousands of executions and cases of torture took place.-ed]

In Chile, at three thousand metres altitude, astronomers from all over the world gather together in the Atacama desert to observe the stars. The desert sky is so translucent that it allows them to see right to the boundaries of the universe. It is also a place where the harsh heat of the sun keeps human remains intact : those of the mummies, explorers and miners. But also the remains of the dictatorship’s political prisoners.

Whilst the astronomers examine the most distant galaxies in search of probable extraterrestrial life, at the foot of the observatories a group of women are digging through the desert soil in search of their disappeared relatives.

Santiago’s observatory, with its old German telescope, is the starting point for Guzman’s film, as the director reminisces in voice-over about a pre-’70s era when Chile was an isolated haven of peace, and had a growing national fascination with astronomy. “The secrets of the sky began to fall on us like translucent rain”, he says.This vision of a past full of enchanting wonder is reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s classic magical realist novel ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’, which also starts with a telescope, brought by gypsies to a remote town to amaze the inhabitants with its distance-eliminating science. Continue reading

Mapuche communities in Chile: Not underground, still fighting for their ground

Freedom for all Mapuche Political Prisoners, 2010 march

Upside Down World, October 26, 2010

Jeremy Tarbox

This year Chile celebrated the bicentennial year of its independence, 20 years since the return of elections, and its first transition of power during this democratic regime. These events received worldwide attention, but events underground have dominated international news coverage: the devastating earthquake in February; and the successful efforts to free the miners who were trapped underground since early August.

However, there is another deeper wound in Chile that has not healed, and is on the surface. The miners were trapped underground, but in southern Chile, indigenous Mapuche communities are still fighting for the right to their own ground.

Days before the bicentennial celebrations, the streets of Temuco echoed with shouts of “Free them; free the Mapuche who are fighting back!”. The protest march started outside the jail where many Mapuche were on hunger strike. The setting of the jail is steeped in symbolism. Firstly, it is right below Cerro Ñielol, the hill where the Mapuche signed a treaty with the Chilean Government in 1881 to stop what newspapers of the day called the ‘war of extermination.’ Secondly, a block away is a memorial to the detained (tortured), disappeared and murdered during the Pinochet 1973-90 military dictatorship. Many are Mapuche names: one of the events that precipitated the coup was Salvador Allende’s land reform program to return lands stolen from Mapuche communities. Continue reading

Chile: Women sterilized due to HIV status

Upside Down World, October 26, 2010

by Aprille Muscara and Daniela Estrada

(IPS) – When Francisca arrived at the historic Curicó Hospital – a staple in the Chilean central valley for nearly one and a half centuries – for the birth of her first child, she didn’t know it would be her only one.  “I was in the recovery room at the hospital of Curicó when [the nurse] entered and, after asking me how I was feeling, told me that I was sterilised and that I would not be able to have any more children,” she recalls in a joint report by the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) and the Chilean NGO Vivo Positivo released Thursday.

It was 2002. Francisca (not her real name) was 20 years old and she and her husband foresaw a future in which their visit to the maternity ward would not have been their last – in which their family would grow and in which their firstborn son would have siblings.

Instead, according to the report, the attending surgeon sterilised her during her cesarean section operation without any prior discussion and without her permission because Francisca is HIV-positive.
“They treated me like I was less than a person,” she said. “It was not my decision to end my fertility; they took it away from me.”

Suzannah Phillips, one of the authors of the report – which documents cases of discriminatory treatment against HIV- positive mothers – argues that Francisca’s story is not an isolated incident.  The report, titled ‘Dignity Denied,’ states that the forced sterilisation of HIV-positive women was routine in Chile prior to 2000, when its health laws were revised to include the notion of informed consent – a process of communication whereby patients voluntarily give their permission for treatment after being given adequate counseling about all possible options.

But the practice continued: In a 2004 Vivo Positivo country study, 29 percent of participants – seropositive women – said that their health care providers pressured them to get sterilised, while 12.9 percent said they were sterilised without consent.  Continue reading

Remembering Why the Chilean Mining Disaster Happened

10 Oct 2010
The Miners’ Rescue: A View from Chile

Dan Morgan, Santiago, Chile

After the 5th of August, for 17 days the whole country held its breath, hoping that 33 miners trapped in the San José mine would be found, and found alive. Nothing was certain. As the test boreholes advanced, so did the horror at the scandalous news that emerged, day by day, of the criminal negligence that led to the disaster. For this was no accident, it was a disaster waiting to happen.

Now they have all been rescued, in good condition, and the news coverage was of the most trivial kind. President Sebastián Piñera has had a field day, luckily he was there to greet the men before he left on a European tour, and his government has avoided any blame for the scandalous, probably corrupt, lack of regulation of this dangerous mine.

The relief when the men were found alive was wonderful. Quickly, resources were mobilised to establish communication, and good supplies of food, clean water and advice, through the 15cm. diameter borehole. TV commentators, and the nation’s president, made belittling, condescending remarks about the shift of 33 men in the San José mine. Worries that they might have lapsed into depressed apathy, or become ‘dispersed’, revealed a complete lack of knowledge of the working class (and especially of underground miners, who depend on each other daily for survival). Continue reading

The abuses kept in the shadows of the Chilean miners’ rescue

15 October 2010
John Pilger

The rescue of 33 miners in Chile is an extraordinary drama filled with pathos and heroism. It is also a media windfall for the Chilean government, whose every beneficence is recorded by a forest of cameras. One cannot fail to be impressed. However, like all great media events, it is a facade.

The accident that trapped the miners is not unusual in Chile, but is the inevitable consequence of a ruthless economic system that has barely changed since the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.

Copper is Chile’s gold, and the frequency of mining disasters keeps pace with prices and profits. There are, on average, 39 fatal accidents every year in Chile’s privatised mines. The San Jose mine, where the men work, became so unsafe in 2007 that it had to be closed – but not for long.

On July 30 last, a Labour Department report warned again of “serious safety deficiencies,” but no action was taken. Six days later, the men were entombed.

For all the media circus at the rescue site, contemporary Chile is a country of the unspoken. At Villa Grimaldi, in the suburbs of the capital Santiago, a sign says: “The forgotten past is full of memory.” This was the torture centre where hundreds of people were murdered and disappeared for opposing the fascism that Pinochet and his business allies brought to Chile. Continue reading