Purported Guerrilla Leader Buried In Santiago
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) _ About 100 people gathered at Santiago’s general cemetery Friday for the burial of a 30-year-old leftist who officials said drowned while fleeing police.
At the end of the ceremony a few shots were fired into the air in a salute to Raul Pellegrin, whose casket was draped with guerrilla banners including the red and black flag of the Manuel Roderiguez Patriotic Front.
Police said Pellegrin belonged to the Front, Chile’s main guerrilla organization which is linked to the banned Communist Party.
Police officers were stationed around the cemetery near downtown Santiago but not near the site of the service. They did not intervene. The crowd dispersed without incident.
Pellegrin’s body was found in a river near a rural police station that underwent a machine-gun attack and was burned by guerrillas two weeks ago. The station’s duty officer was killed.
Police said Pellegrin led that assault in Los Quenes, 140 miles south of Santiago, and drowned while fleeing police. They said the body of a woman, Cecelia Magni, also was found in the river and that she also had participated in the attack.
Relatives and human rights activists called for an investigation into the deaths, disputing police reports that the two drowned accidentally.