Aylwin Goverment Rejects Pinochet Criticism Of German Army
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) _ The goverment has criticized comments by army chief and former president Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who said the German army has soldiers who are ″marijuana smokers, drug addicts, long hairs, homosexuals and unionists.″
Pinochet’s comments ″may seriously jeopardize the friendly relations between Chile and West Germany,″ Acting Foreign Minister Patricio Rojas said Friday.
Rojas said he relayed the government’s position to German charge d’affairs Hans Ulrich Spohn during a meeting Friday. The same day, Bonn formally protested Pinochet’s comments made during a speech Wednesday.
Pinochet later recanted, saying he did not intend to offend the German army, and that his words were probably misinterpreted.
Pinochet, who handed in power to President Patricio Aylwin last March, has refused to step down as head of the army. He is sheltered by a special clause in the 1980 constitution written by his military regime, which lasted 16 years.