Letter: Pinochet's destiny

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Sir: Much as it pains me to agree with any utterance of the dread Thatcher, I do believe she is right in her view that Pinochet should be returned to Chile a.s.a.p.

Whilst it seems beyond doubt that he and his military regime were responsible for wholesale murder and torture whilst in power - and one's heart goes out to those afflicted by the suffering and losses his dark government occasioned - the major fear now is of the re-opening of the old divisions and factional re-polarisation in Chilean society if he continues in detention in this country or is extradited to Spain to face trial there.

I cannot believe that even our leftward-leaning administration would willingly seek responsibility for the further bloodletting which would almost certainly be the consequence of such a scenario in Chile for the satisfaction of seeing a right-wing dictator get his deserts.

If ever there was a choice between the lesser of two evils, this must surely be it.


London W13