National Post (Canada)
Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chilean leftist leader back from the dead


SANTIAGO -His name is on a monument to victims of General Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship, his family buried his mistakenly identified remains -- now a Chilean court is probing how German Cofre has come back from the dead. Mr. Cofre, a former leftist community leader reported to have been whisked away by the military early in Pinochet's 1973-90 dictatorship, was not seen again -- until he returned to Chile 35 years later from neighbouring Argentina, where he has been living. Now a judge is looking into how Mr. Cofre was erroneously declared dead, how Chilean authorities in Argentina renewed his identity card and how his family was paid a pension because he was on an official list of dictatorship victims. Mr. Cofre, 63, says he didn't know he had been declared one of around 3,000 people who died or disappeared under Pinochet's rule.