News Release

Available for Comment on Pinochet Decision


Horman is the widow of American Charles Horman, whose execution by Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s forces in the days after the 1973 coup was the subject of the film “Missing,” starring Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek. Ms. Horman has continued to pursue the case legally.

An attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is representing the Horman family, Ratner said: “This is a watershed victory for human rights and for the people of Chile. We should now examine the role of the CIA in Pinochet’s crimes. Everyone, including world leaders, whether in the U.S. or other countries, should be held to the same standards of law.”

Isabel Letelier is the widow of Orlando Letelier, Chile’s former Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the United States. He was assassinated along with Ronni Moffitt by Chilean secret police in 1976 when a bomb went off in their car just blocks from the White House. Said Letelier: “General Pinochet must be held accountable for his crimes.” She is in Washington, D.C., for one week only. Interviews can be arranged through the Institute for Policy Studies.

Landau is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and co-author of the book Assassination on Embassy Row, an investigation of the Letelier-Moffitt murders. Landau says that the U.S. government has classified documents related to Pinochet’s participation in several international terrorist acts that it has yet to turn over to the Spanish judge investigating the Pinochet case. Said Landau: “Now we shall see whether or not President Clinton will reinforce his words about combating international terrorism with deeds.”
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The director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Birns said: “The British Home Secretary Jack Straw’s decision takes international law into the next millennium. It also represents a slap in the face to Chile’s ruling coalition government, which put out a line that few believed: that if Pinochet was returned to Chile he would have to stand trial there. The whole event helped strip some ill-deserved positive PR from Chile as Latin America’s ‘economic miracle.’ In fact, Chile has one of the most concentrated systems of national wealth in all of Latin America, with one-third of the population living below the poverty line. The only negative factor involved in what otherwise is good news for the rule of law and accountability is that the U.S. State Department almost sat out the entire debate, a fact which was noted worldwide.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.