Chilean police have arrested the widow and five children of the former dictator Augusto Pinochet as part of an investigation into widespread alleged corruption. The investigating judge is looking into claims that Pinochet stole more than 19-million euros worth of public funds, and hid it in numerous secret foreign bank accounts. His widow, 84-year-old Lucia Hiriart, was taken to Santiago’s military hospital after suffering arterial problems, according to her lawyer. Prosecutors have always argued that the dictator’s wider family benefited from the alleged embezzlement, and should be put on trial themselves.
Seventeen other former associates, including military officers and Pinochet’s personal secretary were also rounded up. Pinochet – who ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990 – died last year at the age of 91 before he could face charges of fraud and human rights abuses. He was one of the most notorious South American dictators of the Cold War. The current president’s father died after being tortured in a Pinochet prison.