Chilean judge orders 129 'dirty war' arrests

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The Independent US

A Chilean judge has ordered the arrests of 129 former security officers on charges linked to the disappearance of left-wing activists and the slaying of the Communist Party leadership during the Pinochet dictatorship.

It is the largest number of arrests ordered in an investigation of human rights abuses during the "dirty war" waged while General Augusto Pinochet ruled the country from 1973 to 1990.

Judge Victor Montiglio said the 129 suspects were members of the army, air force and uniformed police who worked for the Dina secret police agency, which has been accused of many of the political killings and other human rights violations of the Pinochet era. The alleged crimes were said to have been committed as part of campaigns aimed at leftist opponents of military regimes in Chile and other South American nations.

An official report says 3,197 suspected leftists were slain for political reasons under General Pinochet.