Fugitive Pinochet agent detained in Chile drugs raid


Fugitive Pinochet agent detained in Chile drugs raid

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Thousands were tortured and brutally killed in Chile in the Pinochet years

Police in southern Chile have arrested a former secret service agent sentenced to jail for human rights abuses during the military government led by General Augusto Pinochet.

Reimer Kohlitz was detained during an anti-drugs operation near the border with Argentina.

He had been on the run since being convicted two years ago of the murders of two left-wing activists in 1984.

Some 3,000 dissidents were killed during Gen Pinochet's rule.

Many others were tortured by Chile's notorious secret police under his rule in the 1970s and 80s.

'Killed in confrontation'

Kohlitz was detained near the village of Curarrehue, some 800km (500 miles) south of the capital, Santiago.

Anti-drugs police were carrying out an operation in the area, in Araucanía province, after being tipped off that a load of narcotics was about to come through the Argentine border.

They made several arrests and identified Reimer Kohlitz among the gang members.

Kohlitz was first convicted in 2012 of the murders of Héctor Sobarzo Núñez and Enzo Muñoz Arévalo in 2012.

He alleged that the two militants were terrorists killed in a confrontation.

But his conviction and six-year prison sentence were upheld by Chile's Supreme Court in August 2015.

Human rights activists have celebrated the arrest of the fugitive agent and called for the authorities to carry on looking for other people convicted for torturing and killing dissidents in the 1970s and 80s.

After seizing power in a military coup in 1973, Gen Pinochet ordered many of the purges, which saw thousands killed. Many more were tortured and driven into exile.

He stepped down as president in 1990, as commander-in-chief of the army in 1998 and died in 2006.

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