Bishop´s Report Confirms 1973 Executions in Chile

Information Given Anonymously by Military Personnel

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SANTIAGO, Chile, MAR. 15, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Bishop Emeritus Carlos González of Talca confirmed a report of the execution of 35 individuals, arrested in the Palacio de la Moneda on the day of the 1973 military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet.

The report was based on anonymous information provided by people who were members of the army at that time. The arrests took place Sept. 11, 1973, the day Pinochet ousted the Communist government of President Salvador Allende.

According to information gathered by the bishop, on that day 35 people were arrested at the government headquarters; 20 of them were shot two days later, and their remains thrown into the sea three years later.

“Of these 35 arrested persons,” the retired bishop said, “between 1993 and 1995 the bodies of 15 were found in Patio 29 of the General Cemetery; it was made known that other persons of this group were taken to the Peldehue military camp, on the outskirts of Santiago, to be shot.”

Chilean Interior Minister José Miguel Insulza confirmed the truth of the information given by the retired bishop.

The Interior Minister explained Tuesday that the documents do not give details of the identity of the individuals whose remains were thrown into the sea. When the investigation is concluded in the cemetery, “the truth will be known.” On national radio the Interior Minister said that some remains found in Patio 29 have been identified, and others are in the Santiago morgue.

Bishop González said, “The Chilean Army is collaborating honestly and correctly in discovering the truth.” He also asked that anyone with information about those years should make it known.

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