Former guerrilla leaves Norwegian embassy in Chile
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -- A crippled former leftist guerrilla who
unsuccessfully sought asylum at the Norwegian embassy has been
transferred to a hospital.
Several relatives of the woman, Marcela Rodriguez, cheered Thursday night
to show support for her as an ambulance sped away from the embassy.
Police sources said the woman was under detention. Chilean and Norwegian
embassy officials, while confirming she had left, did not comment on the
conditions of her departure.
Rodriguez had entered the embassy in a wheelchair on Tuesday with a
companion, Julio Araya, requesting political asylum after she was informed
that she had been sentenced to 10 years in prison for participating in the
bloody rescue of a comrade a decade ago.
The embassy explained to her that she did not qualify for political asylum
because Chile has a democratic government.
But, at the same time, ambassador Martin Tore Bjorndal said she was told
she would not be forced to leave.
Plainclothes police had kept watch on the office building housing the
embassy, which was closed for business for two days because of the
presence of Rodriguez and Araya in the reception room.
According to authorities, Rodriguez has a long history of violence as a
member of the Lautaro Front, an armed gang organized to fight the former
military regime of Gen. Augusto Pinochet in the 1980s. Local media call her
"the submachine woman."
She has been confined to a wheelchair since being shot in the spine in
while participating in the rescue of imprisoned guerrilla Marco Antonioletti
from a hospital where he had been taken for tests.
The rescue was successful, but it left four prison guards and one police
officer dead and Rodriguez crippled for life.