A coach, a professor and some Americans

Chilean sports fans derived some grim satisfaction from watching Germany beat Brazil 7-1 in the World Cup semi-final July 8, and not just because their team lost to the former by a  penalty kick the previous week.  The Brazilian team’s coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, has professed admiration for Chile’s late dictator, General Augusto Pinochet, saying “he did more good things than bad” and justifying the regime’s repression as necessary to avoid anarchy. The headline in Chile’s El Mostrador reports on “the humiliating finale of the Brazilian coach who admired Pinochet:” http://www.elmostrador.cl/destacado/2014/07/08/el-humillante-final-del-entrenador-brasileno-que-admiraba-a-pinochet/

Speaking of Pinochetistas, a Chilean judge has issued new indictments for homicide against a professor at the National Defense University and several other former regime officials. Retired brigadier Jaime Garcia Covarrubias had been a faculty member teaching national security affairs at NDU when he visited Chile last year, only to find his return to Washington blocked by a judicial order.  The first charges involve the deaths of seven political detainees in southern Chile shortly after the 1973 military coup; the second indictment is for the arrest and disappearance of a young lawyer and member of Chile’s Radical Party young wing, who was arrested by a military patrol and later transferred to Garcia Covarrubias’ regiment.

The judicial investigation into these events had been going on for a considerable time, which raises the obvious question as to how Garcia Covarrubias came to be teaching at the National Defence University while under a legal cloud.  Here is a link to some background material on the case by former NDU professor Martin Edwin Andersen: http://www.scribd.com/doc/233209938/Strategic-Communications-v-Torture-Murder-and-Complicity

And another Chilean judge has ruled that U.S. officials played a role in the arrest and killing of two American citizens in the aftermath of the 1973 coup. The arrest of Frank Teruggi and Charles Horman (whose case was dramatized in the film Missing) were part of a “secret United States information-fathering operation carried out by the U.S. Milgroup in Chile on the political activities of American citizens in the United States and in Chile.” A lawyer representing the Teruggi and Horman families noted that neither man had been of particular interest to the Chilean military at the time and would not have acted against the without input from U.S. officials.

The New York Times story: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/01/world/americas/chilean-court-rules-us-had-role-in-murders.html?ref=americas

Captain Ray Davis, hiding in plain sight

The U.S. naval officer wanted by Chilean authorities for his alleged involvement in the deaths of two American citizens during the 1973 military coup may have died in a Santiago nursing home. Captain Ray E. Davis, former commander of the U.S. military group in Chile, had been charged with complicity in the deaths of Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi (see earlier posts: https://notesontheamericas.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/captain-davis-and-el-caso-missing-2/  and https://notesontheamericas.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/the-whereabouts-of-captain-davis/). The Associated Press contacted his wife, who is—or was—living in Florida and she said her husband was suffering from Alzheimer’s and in a nursing home.

But that nursing home may have been in Chile, not Florida. The New York Times reports http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/27/world/americas/chile-hunt-for-justice-winds-up-as-enigma.html?ref=world&_r=0 that a death certificate issued in Santiago indicates that Davis, 88, died of “multisystemic failure” on April 30 of this year and that American Embassy officials were unaware he was even in the country until they were informed of his death. Davis apparently arrived at the nursing home about the same time as a Chilean judge issued an indictment, charging that he had given information on Horman and Teruggi to Chilean intelligence officers.

Horman’s widow Joyce is understandably suspicious, and wants proof that Davis’s navy pension has been cancelled (although Davis’s widow may still be receiving payments).

Here’s  a link to the Horman family’s web site: http://www.hormantruth.org/ht/

A weekend round up

Mother Jones has a disturbing piece by Janis Terrugi Page, sister of Frank Teruggi, one of two Americans killed in the aftermath of Chile’s 1973 military coup.  She quotes one of her brother’s last letters from Chile, in which he describes his personal situation as “one of relative safety…as a foreigner, I should have little trouble leaving the country if the situation should ever get so bad that it be necessary.”


The Financial Times has an article on the business dealings of General Augusto Pinochet’s former son-in-law, Julio Ponce, who oversaw the military regime’s privatization program and ended up as director of one of these former state companies, the Sociedad de Química y Minera de Chile (SOQUIMICH), which has become the world’s largest producer of potassium nitrate, iodine and lithium. One of the company’s minority shareholders has charged that more than 100 illegal operations took place between 2009 and 2011, including one in which people with direct ties to Ponce benefitted by over $100 million. He could face a ten-year prison sentence.


Forbes profiled Ponce three months ago, estimating his net worth at $3.3 billion.


The slow, slow pace of international justice

Charles Horman, a filmmaker and Frank Teruggi, a student, were both killed in Chile’s National Stadium in the aftermath of the 1973 military coup.

This week Chile’s Supreme Court, by a vote of 4-1, authorized a judge to request the extradition of a retired U.S. naval officer implicated in the killing of two Americans, Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi, in wake of the 1973 military coup. (See earlier posts https://notesontheamericas.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/captain-davis-and-el-caso-missing-2/,   https://notesontheamericas.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/an-extradition-request/ and https://notesontheamericas.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/the-whereabouts-of-captain-davis/).

It was last November that Judge Jorge Zepeda announced he would seek Captain Ray Davis’s extradition, and according to information posted on its website http://www.poderjudicial.cl/ the Supreme Court would consider the request within a few days. Now, almost a year later the Supreme Court has finally made its ruling.

So what now?  The case goes to Chile’s Foreign Ministry, which must then present the extradition request to U.S. authorities.

An extradition request

Last November Chilean judge Jorge Zepeda, who has been investigating the case of two American citizens killed during the country’s 1973 military coup, said he was seeking the extradition of former U.S. naval attache Captain Ray E. Davis in the case. The Americans, graduate student Frank Teruggi and filmmaker Charles Horman, were arrested and taken to the National Stadium in Santiago where they were both executed. Horman’s case became the basis for the 1982 film Missing, directed by Costa-Gavras.

Davis, now in his mid-80s, is known to have met Horman and his wife in the days following the coup. But Davis’s wife, when contacted at their home in Florida, said he was suffering Alzheimer’s and living in a U.S. nursing home.  She would not say which one.

Then everything seemed to go quiet. Zepeda has a considerable backlog of unsolved human rights cases in his files, including that of missing Penn State mathematics professor Boris Weisfeiler.  But this past week Zepeda asked Chile’s Supreme Court to approve the extradition request for Davis, who is known to have been in contact with one of the dead Americans, filmmaker Charles Horman.  The judge said that Horman’s killing “happened during secret operations against American citizens and was part of Ray E. Davis’s intelligence activities.”  According to the Chilean Supreme Court web site (www.poderjudicial.cl), the extradition request will be considered within the next few days.

For more on the Charles Horman case:  http://www.hormantruth.org/

For more on the Boris Weisfeiler case: http://www.weisfeiler.com/boris/