The argument over what action to take against Saddam Hussein is driven by the rhetoric of war. But can peaceful, legal action against Iraq's ruthless dictator be effective? The long campaign to bring Augusto Pinochet of Chile to justice offers an encouraging precedent.
Six weeks after the arrest in London of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, the pressure on the administration of US President Clinton to indict the former Chilean dictator for murders his secret police committed here 22 years ago is mounting steadily.
Treading into a political and diplomatic confrontation it tried to avoid, the US has decided to declassify some secret government documents on the killing and torture conducted by the former Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet.
Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who ruled Chile as a despot for 17 years, has been arrested in London after Spain asked that he be extradited for the presumed murders of hundreds of Chilean and Spanish citizens.
The Spanish high court judge who has masterminded the country's attempt to have General Augusto Pinochet tried on charges of torture and terrorism yesterday demanded an end to negotiations which could halt the former dictator's extradition from Britain
The Transnational Institute (TNI) joins human rights activists, the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and legal experts in demanding the office of the British Home Secretary re-evaluate its decision regarding the medical state of former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet.
While recently declassified documents are conspicuously lacking in information about the US role in helping Pinochet take and consolidate power, they are rich in detail about the inner workings of his bloody regime.
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.
The Institute for Policy Studies applauds the arrest of Chilean General Augusto Pinochet, whose regime ordered the assassination of two IPS colleagues, Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt, in 1976 and carried out other documented acts of international terrorism.