Pinochet could have received $292 million dollars in loans from Chilean government, unclear if paid or repaid.
An investigation by the newly founded Chilean investigative journalism and government transparency organization ArchivosChile has discovered documents showing that ret. Gen. Augusto Pinochet was authorized to receive loans of $292 million from the Chilean state from 1977 to 1981. Published on the ArchivosChile website and the Chilean newspaper La Nacion, the article lends credence to suspicions raised years ago upon the discovery of secret U.S. bank accounts that Gen. Pinochet benefited financially from his position as dictator of Chile from 1973 to 1989.
John Dinges, an American journalist and author of two investigative books on Chile, is leading the initiative to explore Law 20.285, known as the Public Information Access Law or Transparency Law, which is similar to the Freedom of Information Act in the United States. ArchivosChile is based upon the model set by the National Security Archives, which uses FOIA laws extensively to obtain and archive historical documents produced by the US Government.
Dinges is the father of the author of this blog.
With these documents, he is seeking to find documents indicating whether money was loaned to Pinochet, and if any of this money was returned to the Chilean state. He is requesting documents from Chile’s Central Bank.
“We are trying to force them to give us that information,” said Dinges in a phone interview. “There is supposed to be an accounting for how that money is spent, and that is what we are going after.”
The mystery of who killed famed Communist singer-songwriter Victor Jara seems to be almost resolved, or at least says the compiled judicial testimonies released in Chilean court today and an elaborate recounting of his last minutes by Jacmel Cuevas, writing for Ciper Chile, an investigative journalism site. For the first time a group of officers surrounding his death has been identified. Also, the details of Jara’s last minutes are detailed as is the story of how his body was found dumped outside a cemetery, spirited away and anonymously buried by loved ones.
It places into doubt previous testimony blaming the death of Jara on Edward Dimter Bianchi.
On September 17th, after four days of imprisonment and multiple sessions of torture in a basement room in Estadio Chile, with a swollen face and fingers fractured by the butt of a rifle, Jara was shot by a low-ranking officer on a round of Russian roulette, with the barrel of the revolver resting against the temple. Jara’s body fell to the floor on its side, convulsing, said José Alfonso Paredes Márquez, an 18-year-old military conscript on guard duty who witnessed the above events and testified to Judge Juan Eduardo Fuentes recently.
Jara’s body was then shot again 43 times by the conscripts there, including by the person who is making this testimony. There were 44 bullet wounds in his body, according to the autopsy.
The ranking officer, Nelson Edgardo Haase Mazzei sat behind an interrogation desk and observed. This is according to the singular testimony of Paredes Marquez, who began his obligatory military service in five months earlier.
Paredes Marquez is currently 55-years-old, lives in the Central Coast region of Chile, and works building houses.
Haase, in testimony, denied that he was present in the Estadio Chile. Testimony of officers and soldiers, compiled by the judicial case and the investigation by CIPER, contradict Haase and place him in Estadio Chile during the time of Jara’s death. The name of the man who first pulled the trigger is not in the Ciper account.
Yesterday, Paredes Marquez was arrested by the Chilean judge. Last year, César Manríquez Bravo, the commander of the Estadio Chile prisoner complex, was arrested for being the responsible officer at the time.
On April 23, 2007, Haase, who owns a company that makes wooden crates for shipping wine, participated in a charity golf tournament in a team made up of other retired military officials. They are pictured below.
In a telephone interview with La Nación newspaper Haase declares that he doesn’t like soccer and has never stepped foot in Estadio Chile (now re-named Estadio Victor Jara.) Haase said he was in an undisclosed location in the south of Chile at the time.
En una conversación telefónica con La Nación, Haase desmiente siquiera haber pisado el Estadio Chile.
-Algunos conscriptos lo mencionan a usted como quien dio la orden de asesinar a Víctor Jara en el Estadio Chile.
-Yo nunca estuve en el Estadio Chile y no conozco a ese caballero (Víctor Jara).
-Pero usted sí fue oficial del Ejército.
– Sí, estuve en el Ejército.
-¿Y estuvo en Tejas Verdes?
-Yo he estado en muchas partes.
-¿Y en el Estadio Chile?
-Yo nunca he estado ahí. No lo conozco. Ni siquiera me gusta el fútbol.
-No me refiero al estadio como recinto deportivo, sino de prisioneros.
-Nunca estuve ahí.
-¿Por qué cree que estos conscriptos lo señalan a usted?
-No tengo idea de lo que me habla.
-¿Dónde estaba usted el 15 de septiembre de 1973?
-En el sur.
-¿En qué parte del sur?
-Eso a usted no le importa.
-Seguramente será citado a declarar
-Mire, no sé por qué estoy hablando esto con usted, pero responderé a quien corresponda si es una llamada oficial.
Yesterday, La Nación asked Paredes Marquez a question in the hallways of the Chilean courts, did Haase give the orders. Paredes Marquez nodded his head.
“Si estando en el pelotón que ultimó a Víctor Jara, Nelson Haase Mazzei era quien daba las órdenes, José Paredes Márquez, albañil y obrero de la construcción, asintió con su cabeza afirmativamente.
Haase continued his military career as a confidant of Manuel Contreras, head of the DINA, and was the commanding officer of the clandestine detention center of the “Cuartel Bilbao,” according to CIPER.
Names of officers and soldiers mentioned in article
comandante (r) César Manríquez Bravo
Manuel Contreras Sepúlveda
Marcelo Moren Brito
capitán David González Toro
capitán Germán Montero Valenzuela
conscripto José Alfonso Paredes Márquez
Nelson Edgardo Haase Mazzei
Rodrigo Rodríguez Fuschloger
teniente Pedro Barrientos
conscripto Francisco Quiroz Quiroz
Augusto Pinochet Ugarte is dead now.
The notorious dictator ruled for 18 years from 1973 to 1989. Now the international news media has swept in from around the world to cover the massive heart attack suffered by Chilean retired general and Dictator Augusto Pinochet this past Sunday. It was a huge event in Putin’s Russia, where Pinochet had been idolized for putting in place an economic turnaround (see page 5). CNN had a red alert header across its web site, said one supporter, one of thousands outside the Escuela Militar in the upper-middle class neighborhood of Las Condes. Another said that El Pais of Spain was doing a biased spread on the life and times and that the Miami Herald had put it on the front page. El Mercurio had the Times of London link to complement their coverage and all the faithful were broadcast around the world supporting the person whom they believe saved Chile from Marxism, Civil War and economic ruin. Pinochet’s mourners lined up for hours to see his body, demonstrate their faith and defend his legacy.
Pinochet was the figurehead of the military coup which violently destroyed the longest running democracy in Latin America. It all beganon the 11th of September, 1973, stayed in power for 18 years. In the process he cleaved families, personal identities as well as a national identity. The numbers are numbers, “only” 3000 killed in an “efficient” extermination of the “escoria” propagated by Castro and Salvador Allende. 30,000 people, according to last years official government Valech Report, were tortured.
I was in the desert north of Chile when he first experienced the throes of death, a week before his actual death. I started asking questions.
Everyone has an experience. Some people talk about it directly, and frankly, like Juan Carlos, a twice daily shuttle driver between the mining town of Calama and the increasingly tourist resort of San Pedro. He tells of when he found himself drinking with an older family friend a while back and noted his stubby fingertips. They had been separated by many years and so he asked what happened, what was his story? All his nails had been lifted with the insertion of bamboo stakes in torture brought by Pinochet and DINA henchmen. Another driver listening on the edge of the conversation interjects, and says that around Calama rumour goes that the bones of the “detenido desaparecidos” detained and disappeared, are underneath the inches thick concrete and asphalt tarmac of the Airport.
3 hours away, in the desert oasis of San Pedro, Fabiola Lopez has dreadlocks, is openly lesbian and her 5 year old daughter builds (mud) sand castles in the dusty street in front of the 15 bikes to rent for the Germans, French and American tourists. She talks about Pinochet and she talks about her Catholic Church upbringing, stories that her refrigerators were always full during the tightest times during Allende and impunity. She went to the school with the sons of Pinochet’s brother she says, growing up body surfing the waves of the Chilean Central Pacific Coast. They liked cocaine, flaunted their last name and were let off the hook by local police upon infraction of the law.
“The death of Pinochet will mark the end of an era.” Karen is a friend of Fabiola’s and a short, powerful and dark massage therapist from San Pedro (who “has seen seen more famous asses than you would believe.” Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore, along with other Hollywood big hitters, have passed through). “It will mark the end of the patriarchy.” Her landlady hid mine unionists from Calama in her home, like in the Underground Railroad, except in vain. Police ferreted them out quickly in the small town.
Operación Retiro Televisores, or Operation Remove Televisions, in which members of the Pinochet police services dug up the bones of executed political prisoners to dump them in the ocean from helicopter, or otherwise hide their whereabouts has a memorial in the desert. Juan Carlos can see it each way on his shuttle drive, 70 yards away from the road in the remarkably barren desert, a tall cross rising above an encircling fence.
The sign on the side of the road says “Memorial.”