Sunday, 29 September 2013

Chile: Jailed general commits suicide

Well. Chile now only has nine prisoners to transfer from Cordillera jail to Punta Pueco. Former head of the national intelligence center (CNI), Odlanier Mena, killed himself while on weekend leave. He had been serving a six-year term in connection with the "Caravan of Death".

Mena's lawyer, Jorge Balmaceda, specifically attributed the suicide to the recent decision to close Cordillera and move its ten inmates to another military facility. He said that Mena had been in a delicate state of health with need of oxygen, and apparently believed he would not receive the necessary medical treatment there.

Presidential candidate Michelle Bachelet is reported as responding that the suicide was a "very tragic decision". That's very diplomatic of her. Whether Mena intended it or not, it will be seized on by supporters of the military perpetrators and they will attempt to use emotional blackmail to keep the prisoners' privileges.

Chile 'Caravan of Death' general commits suicide (BBC)
Pinochet-Era Intelligence Director Commits Suicide in Chile (LAHT)
Se suicida Odlanier Mena, ex director de la CNI y uno de los internos del Penal Cordillera (La Tercera)
Michelle Bachelet y suicidio de Odlanier Mena: "Me parece que es una decisión muy trágica" (La Tercera)
Abogado de Odlanier Mena: "Se suicidó por el traslado" (24 Horas)

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