October 31, 2000

Former member of Pinochet's secret police admits two political assassinations

                  SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -- A former secret agent who served under Gen.
                  Augusto Pinochet has admitted to two political assassinations, his lawyer said

                  Retired army Maj. Carlos Herrera admitted that he killed Tucapel Jimenez, a
                  prominent anti-Pinochet labor leader in 1982, and carpenter Juan Alegria, lawyer
                  Roberto Puelma said.

                  Puelma and the lawyer for the plaintiffs, Jorge Saavedra, said Herrera said in his confession that
                  he acted on orders from Gen. Humberto Gordon and Maj. Alvaro Corbalan, his superiors in
                  Pinochet's feared secret police, known as DINA.

                  Gordon has since died and Corbalan is serving a life prison sentence in the same killings.

                  Both lawyers attended the court session in which Herrera's written confession
                  was read.

                  According to court papers, Jimenez was killed for his anti-Pinochet government
                  activities, and Alegria was assassinated after forcing him to write a letter
                  admitting to the labor leader's killing. Alegria's death was made appear a suicide.

                  Herrera is already serving a life prison term for the Alegria killing and lawyer
                  Puelma said his request for a reduction in that sentence is based on "his
                  cooperation with justice" by confessing the killings.

                  Herrera is still to be sentenced in the Jimenez case.

                  Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.