One of the convicted officers, 86 years old, has committed suicide when he was going to be arrested and transferred to jail.
The Supreme Court of Chile has handed down a final sentence for the kidnapping and murder of the singer and political activist Víctor Jara and the director of prisons Littré Quiroga and has confirmed the sentence to 25 years in prison for seven retired soldiers.
One of them, 86-year-old brigadier Hernán Chacón Soto, committed suicide at the moment he was going to be arrested and taken to jail, when the Chilean security forces showed up at his house.
Víctor Jara was kidnapped in September 1973, during the coup led by Augusto Pinochet against President Salvador Allende. He was arrested at the University along with other professors and students and transferred to the Chile Stadium. This sports venue, which today bears his name, was closed and turned into a concentration camp that housed nearly 5,000 detainees for days.
There Jara was tortured for hours and, finally, riddled with bullets. Later, they abandoned his body in the vicinity of a cemetery. When they found him, he had 44 bullet wounds, signs of cigarette burns, broken fingers and a cut tongue.
Now, two weeks after the 50th anniversary of that coup is commemorated, the Supreme Court has ratified the sentence and ruled out any error in the sentence.
Therefore, the retired soldiers Raúl Jofré González, Edwin Dimter Bianchi, Nelson Haase Mazzei, Ernesto Bethke Wulf, Juan Jara Quintana and Hernán Chacón Soto have been sentenced to serve 15 years and one day in prison as perpetrators of the homicides, and ten years and one day for the kidnappings. In addition, Rolando Melo Silva will serve five years and one day for having covered up the homicides, and three years and one day for having covered up the kidnappings.
Likewise, the Chilean Public Treasury must indemnify the relatives of Jara and Quiroga.
However, when the Chilean security forces showed up at the home of former military Hernán Chacón, he asked for a moment to take some medicine and took advantage of that moment to take his own life. Throughout the process, his defense has maintained that the brigadier was at that time “a simple army major who only fulfilled the function of guarding the external perimeter of the Chile Stadium.” But the Court ruling has concluded that he participated in the decision of who was separated to be taken for interrogation and in their final destination.
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