The former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet is being placed under house arrest and formally charged over a 1970s crackdown on left-wing opponents.
The 89-year-old has been accused of involvement in the disappearance of nine Chileans and the death of one of them during what was known as Operation Condor. The prosecution says it was a sinister and shadowy plot between military South American leaders to track down and kill the opposition. The victims’ bodies were never found – their families have long campaigned for justice. Pinochet has repeatedly escaped prosecution by claiming he is not mentally fit to stand trial, a claim overthrown by Santiago judge Juan Guzman. The general’s legal team plans to appeal that decision. In an earlier human rights case his defence kept him from facing trial by successfully arguing his mild dementia made him mentally incompetent. Pinochet ruled the South American country with an iron fist from 1973 to 1990.