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  • Four former secret police agents in Chile were sentenced to prison terms, among them General Manuel Contreras, who ran the country

    Four former secret police agents in Chile were sentenced to prison terms, among them General Manuel Contreras, who ran the country's secret police. | Photo: El Ciudadano

Four former secret police agents in Chile were sentenced to prison terms, among them Gen. Manuel Contreras, who ran the country's secret police.

Four high-ranking Chilean army officials during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet were sentenced to five years in prison Sunday for their role in the murder of two young activists in 1976.

Among those sentenced was Gen. Manuel Contreras, who was in charge of Chile’s notorious secret police of the military government, the DINA. The DINA functioned as an intelligence entity that operated outside the traditional jurisdiction of the military hierarchy in Pinochet’s dictatorship.

This is only the latest sentence for Contreras, who has been found guilty in numerous other cases of human rights violations. He has been sentenced to serve a total of 400 years for his crimes.

Sunday’s trial resolved the murders of Ivan Perez Vargas and Amador del Fierro Santibañez, who were killed in a confrontation with Chilean police. The pair were members of the revolutionary left MIR movement; the dictatorship deliberately targeted opposition activists.

Under Pinochet's 17-year rule, over 36,000 people were tortured and at least 3,200 killed or disappeared, according to official figures.

Roughly half of all the deaths that occurred during the military regime took place in 1973 immediately following the violent overthrow of the democratically elected, left-wing government of Salvador Allende.

teleSUR
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