Three Generals Implicated in Repression Leave Chile’s Army
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) _ Three army generals linked to human rights abuses under the former military regime are stepping down, officials and news reports said Wednesday.
The generals each headed the National Information Center, the disbanded secret police force known by its Spanish acronym CNI. The agency has been linked to human rights abuses including the killing and torture of dissidents and illegal arrests.
In a brief statement, the army announced the ″voluntary resignations″ of a total of six army generals. The statement did not identify the officers, but the local media gave six names.
Three of the officers, Gens. Hugo Salas, Gustavo Abarzua and Jorge Iturriaga, headed CNI at different times during the military rule of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who led the 1973 coup that ousted Salvador Allende Gossens, an elected Marxist.
Pinochet dissolved the CNI shortly before he stepped down in March and was replaced by his elected President Patricio Aylwin.
Abarzua was the last head of the CNI; when it was disbanded he was named chief of army intelligence. Salas’ last position was army chief of staff, and Iturriaga was a division commander.
Also Wednesday, unidentified military sources quoted by local new reports said 16 officers were ousted from the army after an internal investigation showed they participated in an illegal loan and credit institution.
Defense Minister Patricio Rojas said the inquiry, ordered by Pinochet, had ″confirmed the participation of army personnel″ in the illegal scheme, details of which were unavailable. News reports said hundreds of officers lost money.
The state television said that at least 35 other officers are still being investigated and face ″serious sanctions for breaking military ethic codes and disicipline.″