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Chile expels Argentine military involved in crimes against humanity

Thursday, October 6th 2011 - 08:30 UTC
Full article 25 comments
Colonel Duret has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for the disappearance of a political opponent in 1976 Colonel Duret has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for the disappearance of a political opponent in 1976

The Chilean government ordered the immediate expulsion of international fugitive and human rights violator Alejandro Duret on Tuesday. The order was given just hours after his arrest was confirmed in Talca, located in central Chile’s Maule Region.

El Mercurio reported that Rodrigo Galilea, regional governor for Maule, gave the order for expulsion. Their sources say Duret will be driven over the border and handed to Argentine authorities.

Duret, a retired Argentine colonel, is linked with the kidnapping, torture and ultimate disappearance of political opponent Carlos Labolita in 1976. Duret served under the Argentine military dictatorship (1976-1983).

The current president of Argentina, Cristina Fernández, has a vested interest in the case. Fernández, along with her late husband and former Argentine President Néstor Kirchner, attended Universidad Nacional de la Plata in the 1970s with Labolita when Argentina was under a military dictatorship.

On Monday, Sept. 26, the Chamber of Criminal Appeals in Argentina overturned a previous acquittal, and sentenced Duret to 15 years in prison for the kidnapping, torture and disappearance of Labolita. The Federal Court of Mar del Plata originally found Duret innocent of the charges in July 2009.

Duret fled to Chile the day before the Chamber of Criminal Appeals was to make its ruling. He entered Chile on a tourist visa through the Los Libertadores mountain pass, the main artery between the two countries.

Argentine prosecutor Daniel Adler asked the Federal Court of Mar del Plata to issue an international arrest warrant on Monday for Duret.

This expulsion comes as a number of other human rights violators remain within Chile and Argentina. The two countries must decide, on a case-by-case basis, if the violators will be extradited or given refugee status.

Former Argentine judge Otillo Romano sought refugee status within Chile after being charged with hundreds of human rights violations. He is currently waiting for the Chilean government’s ruling on his status.

Galvarino Apablaza, a Chilean guerrilla, is wanted for the 1991 assassination of Sen. Jaime Guzmán Errazuriz, a chief advisor to Chile’s military dictatorship (1973-1990). President Fernández denied a request for extradition and granted Apablaza refugee status in Argentina.

In recent weeks, right-wing Chilean politicians from the Democratic Union (UDI) party, which Guzmán founded, have suggested the governments negotiate an extradition swap to return Romano and Apablaza to their respective countries. Chile’s undersecretary for the interior, Rodrigo Ubilla, however, publicly rejected the idea.

By Stephen Shea – The Santiago Times

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Philippe

    This was a good opportunity to exercise some reciprocity, for once, in Chilean-Argentinean relations. Exchange one killer for another: Duret for Apablaza.
    Elementary, my dear Watson!


    Oct 06th, 2011 - 09:57 am 0
  • GeoffWard2

    Hi Philippe,

    “I'll swap my right wing deportees for your right wing deportees”
    “Or we could hang them where they are, and avoid the deportation publicity issues”

    “OK, but what about deporting our left wing killers?”

    “You send me six of your terrorists and I'll send you six of my terrorists - the last thing we want is too many people standing for President.”

    Oct 06th, 2011 - 12:50 pm 0
  • Artillero601

    ”Duret served under the Argentine military dictatorship (1976-1983).....”

    Wrong!! He was an Army officer, Commando and an awesome Artillery Officer , this is BULLSHIT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oct 06th, 2011 - 01:32 pm 0
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