Letter: Pinochet's wounds

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The Independent Culture
Sir: As a victim of the brutality of Pinochet's regime in Chile and as an exile in the UK since 1976, I have followed with much interest the news since his arrest in mid-October.

I was shocked to read Pinochet's statement reported in the Sunday papers. It seems as if he still does not understand that the "old wounds" as he calls them, have remained open for the past 25 years and they will not heal unless the truth is known.

If Mr Pinochet intends to live the last years of his life in peace, perhaps he will consider the "fellow citizens" that he refers to and give answers as to the whereabouts of the disappeared prisoners. Those "fellow citizens" whose relatives are disappeared I am sure would also like to look forward to achieving the peace they have not had for over two decades.

Mr Pinochet is right on one point, that "we are his judges". This is why we have applauded the requests for extradition from Spain, France, Sweden and Switzerland and are grateful to Great Britain for having deprived him of some freedom. The Chilean Ambassador in London reminds us that there are 11 cases pending against Pinochet in Chile. Why has he been allowed to wander free in Chile and around the world? The reason is simple: Pinochet and those acting under his orders have been given total immunity and he will never be prosecuted in Chile. It makes one wonder what kind of democracy is one that is held to ransom by a former dictator.



West Midlands