Between 150-200 people attended Monday evening’s presentation of the updated edition of Miguel Krassnoff: Prisionero por Servir a Chile, a book about a former Pinochet regime security agent now serving a 144-year sentence for multiple human rights abuses. The guests included a veteran columnist for the El Mercurio newspaper and Alfonso Marquez de la Plata, one of the regime’s cabinet ministers, who now heads the Pinochet Foundation, as well as a number of retired military officers. The event, held at the Club Providencia in eastern Santiago, was delayed by a bomb threat, but resumed after Chile’s carabinero police searched the premises with the use of sniffer dogs. According to news reports, Krassnoff’s wife spoke, demanding to know “where are our human rights?” and guests sang the Chilean national anthem, including a stanza about valiant soldiers which the Pinochet regime added and which was eliminated when the country returned to democratic rule.
Hundreds of people gathered to protest the event, including some who said they had been tortured by Krassnoff. Past victims include a British doctor, Sheila Cassidy, whose arrest and torture in 1976 prompted Britain to recall its ambassador, as well as a prizewinning Chilean historian, a director of the country’s national television network and Dr. Patricio Bustos, who heads the Servicio Medico Legal, the Chilean coroner’s office. Dr. Bustos told El Mostrador http://www.elmostrador.cl/noticias/pais/2011/11/22/%E2%80%9Cnos-tiraron-desnudos-amarrados-a-un-somier-metalico-con-aplicaciones-de-electricidad%E2%80%9D/ that he and his girlfriend had been arrested in 1975 and held at the Villa Grimaldi detention center where they were tortured. Krassnoff, he recalled, was one of two officials at the center who did not bother to use an alias.
And earlier in the day a Chilean judge announced yet another case against Krassnoff, the kidnapping and disappearance in 1974 of an electronics technician who was taken from his home by three security agents and never seen again.