Chilean ex-military officers sentenced for murder of Spanish diplomat | News

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The Supreme Court of Chile sentenced this Tuesday six former agents of the former National Intelligence Directorate (DINA) and two former soldiers for the murder of the Spanish diplomat Carmelo Soria, perpetrated on July 14, 1976.


Chile approves requesting data from the US on the 1973 coup

The DINA was the secret police during the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). His agents kidnapped Soria, who was a communist militant and worked for the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cepal), on July 12, 1976 and took him to a torture center, where he was assassinated two days later.

They then placed his lifeless body inside a vehicle and threw it into a ravine to simulate a traffic accident for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol.

In a statement, the Supreme Court specified that two senior DINA officials, Pedro Espinoza Bravo and Raúl Eduardo Iturriaga (15 years and one day in prison each), as well as the military man Juan Morales Salgado (ten years and one day). The three are in prison for human rights violations.

Other DINA agents sentenced to different jail terms were Guillermo Salinas Torres (as the perpetrator of the crime), René Quilhot and Pablo Belmar (homicide and illicit association).

Likewise, a former general of the armed forces, Eugenio Covarruvias Valenzuela, and a former military prosecutor, Sergio Cea Cienfuegos, received jail terms (for making a false statement under oath and author of falsifying a public document, respectively).

The ruling of the Supreme Court, which cannot be appealed, drew attention to the fact that "Espinoza Bravo, Iturriaga Neumann and Morales Salgado were already sentenced for the same conduct (the crime of illicit association) in the investigation into the homicides of Carlos Prats González and Sofía Cuthbert Charleoni".

ECLAC welcomed the ruling of the Supreme Court, for which it was necessary to wait 46 years and which occurs less than a month after the 50th anniversary of the coup perpetrated by Pinochet against the socialist president Salvador Allende.

Former General Carlos Prats González was the former Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Army when the coup occurred. He left the country when he learned that the coup plotters wanted to kill him. Shortly after, his wife, Sofía Cuthbert Charleoni, did. Both were assassinated on September 30, 1974 in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, when the car in which they were traveling suffered an attack with a remote-operated explosive.

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