Chile jails Pinochet-era secret agents over activist’s murder

SANTIAGO – A Chilean judge on Wednesday handed down sentences to three members of General Augusto Pinochet’s secret police for the assassination of Miguel Enriquez, the former head of Chile’s Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR).

Enriquez was gunned down outside an MIR safe-house in a working-class suburb south of the capital, Santiago, on October 5, 1974. Thousands of opponents were systematically exterminated by the brutal regime of Gen. Pinochet.

Judge Mario Carroza ordered Miguel Krassnoff, a high-ranking member of Chilean intelligence agency DINA, to serve 10 years in prison for the murder. His two accomplices – Rodolfo Concha and Teresa Osorio – were each sentenced to three years with probation.

The judge told the court that dozens of DINA agents surrounded the house in San Miguel, where Enriquez was hiding out with his pregnant partner Carmen Castillo, before unleashing “an armed offensive…without requesting they surrender so that they could be detained.”

Enriquez tried to flee across the rooftops of neighboring houses but was ultimately cornered and shot dead.

The court ordered the state to pay 50 million pesos (about €68,000 or $82,000) in compensation to each of his two sons.

Krassnoff, 71, is already serving more than a hundred years in prison after being convicted of multiple counts of crimes against humanity in other cases.

Miguel Enriquez’s son Marco Enriquez Ominami, who ran as a presidential candidate in Chile’s 2009 and 2013 elections, wrote on Twitter that he had waited 43 years for justice.

“Justice takes time, but it is done (in the end),” he said. “They can express opinions, vilify or invent, but justice is done by the courts. Without hate or violence, we as a family value the ruling. My thoughts are with my grandparents, who died waiting.”