Former soldiers in Chile convicted of crimes during the dictatorship
Santiago de Chile, Aug 9 (Prensa Latina) The Santiago Appeals Court sentenced a retired general and three other ex-military personnel for the murder of 12 people in what was called the Caravan of Death, in October 1973, after 46 years of impunity.
The ruling, issued on Saturday, establishes for General Santiago Sinclair five years and one day in prison, as the author of qualified homicides; and three years for Robert de la Mahotiere, as concealer of the execution, and with this he revoked the sentence of first instance that acquitted both retired soldiers.
Likewise, it confirmed the sentences of Juan Viterbo Chiminelli Fullerton, as the author of the aforementioned crimes, to a sentence of five years and one day in prison, and Pedro Espinoza Bravo, to ten years.
The 12 victims included the leader of the Revolutionary Left Movement and peasant leader Gregorio José Liendo Vera, and all were logging workers from Panguipilli, executed in the Regiment of the southern city of Valdivia.
The plaintiff attorney Francisco Ugás told the media that after more than 46 years in absolute impunity, this sentence condemns for the first time who became Lieutenant General of the Army, vice-commander-in-chief of that institution and its representative before the Military Junta, as well as designated senator.
He added that although Santiago Sinclair was investigated in other cases, including that of five disappeared persons in 1987, and that of Carmen Gloria Quintana and Rodrigo Rojas De Negri, who were burned alive, he was never convicted then for his participation in crimes against humanity.
Notwithstanding the convictions, the jurist considered it an error to apply the half prescription of the crime to establish the amount of penalties, since this cannot be applied to crimes against humanity, and indicated that he will establish a remedy so that the penalties are raised to the convicted, that they are 'fair, proportionate and adequate.'
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