Chile's drug-dealing General Pinochet indicted
In tradition-shattering international drug
war news Hugh O'Shaughnessy of the United Kingdom's The Observer
newspaper reported December 10, 2000 that the Chilean army and
secret police have spent almost two decades secretly flooding
Europe and the US with massive shipments of cocaine. The trafficking
began during the 17-year dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet
(1973-90) and continues to this day, a yearlong investigation
for The Observer related.
According to this startling piece of investigative journalism, twelve tons of
drugs, with a street value of several billion pounds, left Chile
in 1986 and 1987 alone. Destined for Europe, drugs were flown
to Spanish territory by aircraft carrying Chilean-made arms to
Iraq and Iran. Distribution to Britain and other European countries
has been controlled by secret police stationed in Chilean embassies
in Stockholm and Madrid.
There can be no doubt that Pinochet, whose power was absolute
between the1973 coup and his surrender in 1990, was a party to
trafficking. The investigation includes reference to a declaration
by Pinochet in October 1981: 'Not a leaf moves in Chile if I
don't move it - let that be clear.'
Chilean secret police - originally known as the Dina and from
1977 as the SNI - was staffed by service personnel and helped
Pinochet to torture and kill opponents. Dina's former director,
General Manuel Contreras, declared to Chile's Supreme Court in
1998 that he undertook nothing without Pinochet's express permission.
The huge profits from the drug deals enriched senior figures
in Chile, and some of that money helped finance the Dina/SNI
operations, investigators discovered.
Pinochet was returned to Chile from England for medical reasons
last March, and his arrest and detention in London significantly
advanced human rights' principles both internationally and within
Chile. Tens of thousands of people rallied repeatedly around
the world to hail Pinochet's brief detention in England. Then,
astoundingly, Chilean Judge Juan Guzman indicted Pinochet on
December 1, 2000, ordering that he be placed under house arrest.
Charges subsequently were dropped against Pinochet by order of
the Santiago Appeals Court on December 11th. Legal wrangling
and appeals continued in Chile.
As we take this issue to press, a wire service report dated January
29, 2001 announces that the indictment against Pinochet "The
Butcher" has been reinstated in the Chilean trial court.
Defendant Pinochet now faces arrest, fingerprinting and other
police procedures in the beginning stages of a legal process
leading to a trial certain to excite world attention and possibly
reveal long-hidden US military, financial and diplomatic support
for the murderous, drug-trafficking Pinochet regime.