There have been mounting calls from Pinochet’s critics to continue investigations linked to his regime. Thousands were killed or disappeared under the former dictator’s rule. Their families say they won’t stop campaigning until they get justice. The Spanish judge who tried to bring Pinochet to trial for genocide is among those demanding that efforts continue to bring others to court.
Judge Baltasar Garzon says it is unfortunate Pinochet did not face justice and his victims did not receive damages.
“The law has done an important job in the last eight years in Chile and elsewhere. Many lawsuits remain open, which means that there has been partial compensation,” he said.
Garzon tried to extradite Pinochet, who was in London for medical treatment, but the British government decided he was unfit to stand trial.
A friend of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Pinochet was under house arrest for 16 months, before he was released on grounds of poor health.
The daughter of President Salvador Allende, the elected leader who was overthrown by the General in 1973, wants the government to use Pinochet’s fortune to compensate victims and their families.
Isabel Allende’s father is said to have shot himself during the coup. Some believe he was murdered, however.
“There cannot be any reconciliation while the legal process is still open,” Isabel Allende said. “We have to keep in mind that people have still not been found, and that families are still looking for their loved ones. It’s unthinkable to call for reconciliation.”
Now a Socialist MP, Isabel Allende says she is pleased that Pinochet died being pursued by the courts but wishes he had been convicted.