A 36-year old murder case

A Spanish judge has issued indictments and international arrest warrants against seven former Pinochet regime security agents for the 1976 kidnapping and murder of Carmelo Soria, a Spanish diplomat working for the Santiago-based United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America. The former agents include Manuel Contreras, former head of regime’s secret police agency, the DINA, who is currently serving multiple prison sentences for killings and torture and Michael Townley, an American-born DINA agent who was extradited to the United States for his role in the killing of Chilean exile leader Orlando Letelier and his American colleague in a car bomb explosion in Washington.

Townley served a reduced prison sentence in the United States in return for testifying in the case, and entered the Federal Witness Protection Program. While working for the DINA his Santiago home was used to hold detainees, and Soria was among these victims (see earlier post https://notesontheamericas.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/nocturno-de-chile/).

Judge Pablo Ruz said his Chilean counterparts “had shelved the case” and that there has not been “a serious investigation and follow up of these deeds.”  So what happens next? A lawyer for the Soria family said they were waiting for an extradition request in order to petition Chile’s Supreme Court to reopen the case.

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