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  • Prosecuting Pinochet: International Crimes in Spanish Domestic Law
  • Richard J. Wilson1 (bio)
I. The Arrest of a Dictator: Augusto Pinochet in the Dock 930
II. A Short History of the Spanish Criminal Investigations on Chile and Argentina 932
III. An Overview of the Ongoing Results of the Spanish Investigations 938
  A. Accomplishments in Cases Other Than That of Augusto Pinochet 938
  B. Effects in the United States: The Letelier-Moffitt Murders and Other Legal Actions 943
  C. The Letelier-Moffitt Murder Exception to the Chilean Amnesty Yields a Conviction in Chile 946
  D. A “Scilingo Effect” in Chile: Testimony from the Military and Others Against Pinochet 947
  E. The DINA-Condor Connection and the Joinder of the Chilean and Argentine Cases 948
IV. The Crimes Charged: Genocide, Terrorism, and Torture Under Universal Jurisdiction in Spanish Law 950
  A. Universal Jurisdiction in Spanish Law 950
  B. The Legal Effect in Spain of Domestic Amnesties in Chile and Argentina 952
  C. The Crime of Genocide Under Spanish Law 957
  D. The Crime of Terrorism Under Spanish Law 961
  E. The Crime of Torture Under Spanish Law 963
  F. Related Matters: Customary Law Claims and Other Issues Raised in the Jurisdictional Context 964
V. The Evidence Underlying the Warrant for Pinochet’s Arrest 965
  A. The Rettig Commission Report 966
  B. Judge Garzón and the Terror Archive: Operation Condor and Its Massive Documentation 968
  C. The Ninety-Four Named Victims in the Garzón Arrest Warrant and the Thousands Named in the Extradition Request 973
  D. Ernesto Sabato and “The List of the 119” 974
  E. Luz Arce Sandoval, Involuntary Collaborator with the DINA 974
  F. At the Dictator’s Doorstep: The Testimony of Manuel Contreras 975
VI. Conclusion 976

[End Page 927]

Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, born 25.11.15 in Valparaiso/Chile, Chilean ID number 1.128.923, appears to be one of the main responsibles within [Operation Condor], and, in coordination with high military officials and civilians from other countries, namely Argentina, he was in charge of creating an international organi-zation that conceived, developed and carried out a systematic plan of illegal detentions (abductions), tortures, forcible transfers of [End Page 928] persons, murders and/or disappearances of many people, including citizens from Argentina, Spain, the United Kingdom, the US, Chile and other countries. These actions were carried out in different countries in order to achieve the political and financial aims of the conspiracy, mainly to exterminate the political opposition and many people for ideological reasons since 1973. These events coincide with similar events [that] happened in Argentina between 1976 and 1983.

From the Second Arrest Warrant for Augusto Pinochet 2 [End Page 929]

En Chile, no se mueva una hoja sin que yo sepa.

In Chile, not a leaf moves without my knowing.

Favorite saying of Augusto Pinochet 3

Fiat Justicia, Ruat Cœlum

Let Justice Be Done, Though the Heavens Should Fall 4

I. The Arrest of a Dictator: Augusto Pinochet in the Dock

Augusto Pinochet, leader of a military government that ruled Chile between 1973 and 1990, was placed under arrest in England on 16 October 1998. The arrest arose from procedures begun more than two years before in a specialized criminal court in Spain, which now seeks his extradition to Spain for trial. The charges against him, as originally formulated by the Spanish courts, allege violations of the most serious of international crimes: genocide, terrorism, torture, and the various crimes that constitute the practice of forced disappearance. 5 After protracted preliminary questions in the British courts dealing with immunity and the scope of the extradition inquiry, he faces extradition and trial in Spain for torture and conspiracy to torture.

General Pinochet assumed power when the Chilean armed forces violently overthrew the democratically elected government of President Salvador Allende on 11 September 1973. He is now Senator-for-life in a Chilean legislature controlled by a block of Senators named by him or his sympathizers, under a constitution of his own design. He took his seat in the Senate not by popular election, but through his self-appointment to the position, which he moved into on the day after his retirement from leadership of the armed...

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