A former soldier in the Chilean army has been charged with murder after unexpectedly confessing during a live radio phone-in to taking part in the executions of 18 people during Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship.
The man, identified as Guillermo Reyes Rammsy, 62, was arrested on Friday and charged with the deaths of two members of Chile’s Socialist Party in 1973.
Rammsy had made a call to the country's most famous talk show ‘Chacotero Sentimental’ (which means Loving Betrayal) radio station on Wednesday, calling himself Alberto, to speak about a love affair.
His story took a macabre turn when he then began describing how he had executed people during the 1970s under the dictatorship of Pinochet, who ruled Chile between 1973 and 1990.
An estimated 3,200 people were murdered under his rule, with another 28,000 tortured by the state. Many of those killed were affiliated with Chile's Socialist Party.
‘Alberto’ described in chilling detail how, as a conscript, he participated in 18 executions, where “we took some of these guys into the countryside and shot them in the head”.
He continued: “We blew them up. They fell apart. Nothing was left of them. Not even their shadow.”
The shocked presenter, Roberto Artiagoitia, said: “But you killed people!” to which ‘Alberto’ replied he had to.
“Otherwise the military would have killed me,” he said.
Mr Artiagoitia pressed on with the call, asking: “What about your responsibilities as a human?”
According to the Guardian, ‘Alberto’ said: “If we found them with a gun, we liquidated them… Five shots and they were gone. They were not white doves – you had to survive.”
Local media reported the police traced the call, leading to Rammsy’s arrest. Chile’s socialist party said on Friday he is being investigated by a human rights judge.
Although he did not identify his victims, Rammsy is being charged over the deaths of socialist party members Freddy Taberna Gallegod and German Palomino Lamas.
Both men were tried by military councils of war and executed in late 1973. Their bodies were never found.
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