Thursday, 26 April 2012

Chile: Pinochet's will opened

It really is incredibly offensive how supporters of military dictatorships claim they are the victims of "political persecution", usually because they are expected to do something totally unreasonable like, say, obey the laws of their country, or face justice for heinous crimes. And they do it, regular as clockwork. Anyway...

Chile decided to go ahead and open the will of Augusto Pinochet. Why they are doing it now, I'm not completely sure, but the aim was to identify some of the state funds he was suspected of embezzling. He was said to have possessed a sum amounting to almost US$ 18 million which could not be explained by his official salary. In accordance with Chilean law, the contents of the will are not going to be published.

Ahead of the opening, his daughter Lucia gave an interview to La Segunda in which she stated that she "had no expectations" of the will and claimed that the move to check its contents was persecution.
"I've always said it and it's very clear. There's no doubt: This is part of the political persecution which started under the Lagos government... and has continued until today, because no one is brave enough to put a stop to the issue....They are looking for money which doesn't exist."

Meanwhile, Pinochet's grandson was telling La Tercera that
"This is political persecution which is intended to sully his image in any way possible". 

In any case, the will was read, but it seems to have revealed little new information. In fact, the only change from a previous version was the name of the executor. 

The Santiago Times quotes Claudio Javier Barrientos, director of the School of History at Universidad Diego Portales, on the issue of timing. He suggests that the government is looking to make-up to the centre right, while another possible reason for the review of the will, according to Barrientos, is that conservative politicians wanted to settle the problem of access to Pinochet’s funds now, rather than leaving the issue to the end of the year during the lead up to the municipal elections in October.

Lucía Pinochet, a horas de que se abra el testamento de su padre: "Buscan dineros que no existen" (La Segunda)
Nieto de Pinochet tras lectura de testamento: "No espero recibir nada" (La Tercera)
Augusto Pinochet's will to be opened despite family protests (Guardian)
Chile to open dictator Pinochet’s controversial will (Santiago Times)
Sólo cambio de albacea contenía testamento de Pinochet y CDE pedirá hacer público el de 2000 (La Tercera)
Contents of Chilean dictator's will fail to meet expectations (Santiago Times)

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