Ex-Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet has reportedly been read the last rites after suffering a heart attack. Doctors treating him at a military hospital in Chile’s Santiago, say his condition is ‘life-threatening’. The news comes just over a week after he celebrated his 91st birthday. The former general had used the occasion to issue a statement acknowledging “political responsibility” for acts committed following the military coup that brought him to power in 1973.
Around 3,000 people were killed or “disappeared” in political violence during Pinochet’s rule. Some 28,000 more were tortured. He has been arrested several times although never brought to trial. His lawyers repeatedly claimed he was too frail to face a court. He was recently, briefly, placed under house arrest for crimes including torture, murder and kidnapping during his 17-year regime.