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.
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.
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.
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 prosecution of Pinochet, whose name became a virtual synonym for state-sponsored terror during his seventeen-year regime, has become a historic turning point for international and national efforts to hold him and other tyrants accountable.
Leaders of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) applauded the British Law Lords' decision today to deny immunity for Augusto Pinochet and allow extradition proceedings against the former Chilean dictator to go forward.
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.
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.
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.
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.