Chile's Pinochet says he had 'nothing to do' with rights abuses
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -- Gen.
Augusto Pinochet was quoted Sunday
as saying he had "nothing to do" with
human rights abuses during his military
In an interview with the Santiago daily El Mercurio, Pinochet claimed he
no information on the whereabouts of 1,102 dissidents who have not been
located since they were detained by his security services.
He also said calling him responsible for human rights abuses "is the most
unjust accusation ever done against a man."
"I had nothing to do with that," he said. "When I heard of some criminal
I relayed the case to the courts."
Pinochet, who seized power in a bloody coup in 1973 and ruled until 1990,
was accused of widescale human rights abuses during his rule.
More than 3,100 people were killed for political reasons during his 17
in power, and 1,102 people are still missing, according to a months-long
investigation by the civilian government that succeeded Pinochet. Thousands
more were tortured and forced into exile.
'Mistakes were made'
Pinochet has often denied the allegations, although he has admitted in
past that "mistakes were made by both sides," referring to his government
and the groups that resorted to violence to fight it.
In the newspaper interview published Sunday, Pinochet said he could not
speak for his subordinates.
"That's a different thing," he said. "I do not know, that was a problem
was beyond my reach. That's what people do not understand."
The former ruler has retained substantial political and military clout
becoming a senator for life, a guarantee he established for himself in the
constitution written by his regime.
Copyright 1998 The Associated Press.