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Chile declassifies 39,000 files from dictatorship

Tuesday, April 08, 2014 - 01:59

April 8 - Chile's justice system declassifies 39,000 files found at a former detention center that could lead to more information on people who went missing during Pinochet's rule. Nathan Frandino reports.

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Newly declassified files found at Chile's Villa Baviera could shed light on hundreds of people who went missing or were murdered during the military government of Augusto Pinochet from 1973 to 1990. The documents were found in 2005 but were labeled a "state secret" until now. Officials at the National Human Rights Institute successfully lobbied for the files' release. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DIRECTOR OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTE LORENA FRIES SAYING: "We are in the preliminary stage of revising the material. We don't only have files, there are other things. Therefore, we don't know the quality of this material. But undoubtedly, we will be very happy if it contributes to further helping to identify or know the fate of the people who were in Colonia Diginidad." Formerly known as Colonia Dignidad, Baviera was a clandestine detention center run by this man, Nazi, Paul Schaefer. Schaefer fled Chile in 1997 while being investigated for sex abuse. He was found in 2005 and convicted for sexually abusing 25 children. He died in prison in 2010 but not before leaving his mark on Chile. It was at the Villa Baviera where opponents of Pinochet were said to be arrested and tortured. Official sources estimate that some 4,500 political prisoners were detained there and more than 200 are still unaccounted for. At the Chilean NGO Families of the Disappeared Detainees, officials hope the files reveal others involved. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LORENA PIZARRO, PRESIDENT OF THE CHILEAN NGO FAMILIES OF DISAPPEARED DETAINEES, SAYING: "There are civilians and uniformed officers who were very friendly with the Colonia. Some were staunch supporters of all the crimes and atrocities reported there, who will have to answer for their crimes, because Paul Schaefer is already dead, he was the cult leader, but he didn't act alone." Some 3,000 people "disappeared" - presumed killed - during Pinochet's rule. = Chile declassifies 39,000 files from dictatorship Chile's justice system declassifies 39,000 files found at a former detention center that could lead to more information on people who went missing during Pinochet's rule. Nathan Frandino reports.

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Chile declassifies 39,000 files from dictatorship

Tuesday, April 08, 2014 - 01:59