Supporters of Orlando Letelier, who was killed by a car bomb planted by Chilean secret police in 1976, want Clinton to speak out against the state-sponsored terrorism practiced by the government of former dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
Timothy S. Robinson with Lawrence Meyer, Christopher Dickey
02 August 1978
After a 22-month investigation, a federal grand jury here yesterday indicted the former head of Chile's secret police and seven others in the bombing death of former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier.
General Pinochet's days are numbered, a high State Department official confided to Isabel Letelier, widow of Orlando Letelier, as recent new developments became known in the investigation of his assassination.
Orlando Letelier represented all the qualities government should stand for: he was a lawyer who believed in rules and constitutions, his ethic was equality and justice; his means of persuasion and authority was reason.
Whether former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet is extradited to Spain will depend in the final analysis on a political decision by Spain's centre-right head of government, Jose Maria Aznar, say legal experts.
A Chilean judge formally charged Augusto Pinochet with homicide and kidnapping in one of many pending cases related to human rights abuses committed during his 17-year rule, and ordered house arrest for the former dictator.
When Spanish justice finishes with Pinochet, the United States should seek his extradition to Washington for his role in the murders of Letelier and Moffitt, which happened just a mile from the White House.
As Augusto Pinochet continues to fight extradition from England to face charges of crimes against humanity, the historical record of US support for the former Chilean dictator remains disappeared, like so many victims of his violent regime.
During most of his two years of exile here, after his release from imprisonment on an island near the southern tip of Chile, Orlando Letelier lived a quiet life, studying how the world's wealth could be more equitably distributed.