Hernan Etchaleco: France to arrest former Chilean officials

French judge Roger Le Loire issued today orders to arrest 15 Chileans functionaries of the Augusto Pinochet dictatorial government between 1973 and 1990. Those officials are presumed to be connected with the assassination of French citizens during the militarist era.

The list includes General Manuel Contreras, director of the secret services and Paul Schafer Schneider, former responsible of clandestine German detention camp in the South of Chile. According to declarations of the French justice, at least five citizens were hijacked, tortured and killed during Pinochet regime. Georges Klein, assistant of Salvador Allende, former Chilean socialist President who died in the 1973 coup d'etat, is included in the list.

Pinochet, now 85 years old, was arrested during 16 months in London in 1998 while Spanish courts claimed him for extradition in respect of crimes against Spanish citizens. In March 2000, Britain allowed Pinochet to get back to Chile arguing health reasons.

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