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McKinney Expresses Relief over Pinochet Ruling

August 9, 2000

Washington - Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), a member of the International Relations Committee and Ranking Member of the International Operations and Human Rights Subcommittee, expressed relief over Chile's Supreme Court's ruling to end General August Pincher's immunity from prosecution on Tuesday.

McKinney stated, "The ruling of Chile's Supreme Court will finally allow this evil and dangerous man to finally be held accountable for his many atrocious violations of human rights. His reign of terror is over and the people of Chile can finally seek justice and closure to a horrible and painful part of their history."

McKinney continued, "This is a bad day only for those who have been protected and allowed to hide from their crimes under the flimsy umbrella of immunity."

During his reign from 1973 to 1990, over three thousand people died or disappeared at the hands of Pinochet's secret police after a 1973 coup where he and followers removed Marxist president Salvador Allende, with the assistance of the United States. Pinochet will also finally face charges for his "caravan of death," which allegedly executed seventy-two political prisoners after the coup.

McKinney concluded, "This ruling against General Pinochet should send a message loud and clear to would be dictators and human right violators around the world. Your days of sheltered immunity are over. The people have spoken."

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