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August 10, 2007

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Claws of Condor have been cut
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When such news comes, a Latin American saying: la justicia tarda pero llega that can be rendered as sooner or later but justice will triumph - immediately comes to one's mind. Although sometimes one will have to wait for a long time. But in this case the matter is about punishment of dictators and their accomplices.

In Chile the last of the generals running the secret police DINA Raul Iturriaga Neumann has finally been put to prison. On June 11, 2007 the retired general should have started to serve the sentence of 5 years and one day for abduction of a left activist in 1974. But Iturriaga has disappeared, vanished into the thin air. He has become the most wanted criminal in Chile. 52 days later he was finally arrested, and now, as demanded by the public, they investigate, who assisted him to hide himself, change his appearance and etc. There is no doubt that he was assisted. It is found out that all these days the fugitive general used to live in Las Condes the privileged dustrict of the capital, and he was detained at the resort city of Viña del Mar. Certain politicians from the right parties immediately declared that hunting for military started in the country and that generals must not be treated the same way as ordinary criminals.

But they are not! At Peñalolen prison where a dozen of special services top officers are already serving the sentence, among whom there is a head of DINA Manuel Contreras and notorious Miguel Krassnoff, there are all thinkable and unthinkable conveniences, including sports ground, swimming pool, cable TV and computers. Of course it cannot but cause indignation of human rights activists and those who had suffered from the butchers in military uniform during the years of dictator regime.

Another news has come from Argentine. The Supreme court overruled the act of clemency of the military regime leaders of 1976 1983. In 1985 soon after the victory of democracy, the top military were tried for flagrant violations of human rights. The junta leader ex-dictator Jorge Rafael Videla and ex-admiral Emilio Massera were sentenced for life. Other top officers also got long terms as well. However in December 1990 the then president, neo-liberal and advocate of privatization Carlos Menem signed the decree on clemency of 5 junta members, including Videla and Massera. All in all at the times of Menem, they pardoned 289 persons, who sullied their names with crimes against humanity.

And now, 17 years later, the clemency was overruled. However, out of all once pardoned junta members, only Videla and Massera are still alive. The latter is hardly breathing and as per his level of health cannot be put to prison. And Videla for accroachment and effecting the Operation of Condor will stay under home arrest.




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