Letter: Pinochet's progress

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The Independent Culture
Sir: It must be insisted that Pinochet be required to explain his actions regarding his illegal usurpation of power and the ensuing murders of many of his compatriots by him and his armed forces. Disregarding the barrage of propaganda unleashed by all involved in this affair, he must be brought to justice, if only for the international community to show a red light to such individuals. He was not the legally elected representative of his people and, even if this had been so, no leader has a remit to commit mass murder to achieve and maintain power.

Those opposing Pinochet's extradition are, in the main, the Chilean middle- classes, the right-wing press in the UK and leaders, past and present, of the British Conservative Party. Part of the motivation inherent in this opposition is that in 1973 certain well-known right-wing international agencies were involved in the conspiracy to ensure Pinochet's success. Without this aid and comfort, Pinochet might well have lost the game. There are those who advocate Pinochet's return to Chile to face the music. If he is permitted to return home, one thing is certain: there will be no trial.

It could of course be said that "people in glasshouses should not throw stones." The history of many former colonial powers would not bear truthful scrutiny in this regard. Notwithstanding this, whatever the outcome of this affair, it will have an enormous effect on the global perception of what is right and proper regarding the government and governing of any community. If we fail in our task to bring Pinochet to justice, then God help us.

KEITH PETT

Whitchurch, Hampshire

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