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On January 28th, Chilean officials published a court ruling against two former intelligence agents involved in the murder of U.S. citizens Frank Teruggi and Charles Horman shortly after the 1973 military coup. The decision issued on earlier in the month ordered Pedro Espinoza to serve seven years behind bars while his accomplice, Pedro Espinoza, was sentenced to two years of police supervision.
According to the lengthy 276-page ruling, Chile’s intelligence considered the actions of economics student Teruggi and filmmaker Horman as “subversive” and ordered their detention. Horman was kidnapped six days after Gen. Augusto Pinochet ousted the civilian government and killed “by the Military Intelligence Battalion or the Army Intelligence Headquarters.” Teruggi became one of the thousands of people herded into the National Stadium in Santiago, tortured by the military and murdered.
The tribunal also found that a U.S. military group in Chile led by then-Navy captain Ray E. Davis helped carry out a “secret investigation” on Teruggi and Horman. Davis was indicted by a Chilean court in 2011 and ordered his extradition though it was later revealed that he was living in a nursing home in the South American country. Much like Pinochet, Davis died in impunity but questions continue to linger over U.S. involvement in the deaths of Teruggi and Horman.
“Frank, a charitable and peace-loving young man, was the victim of a calculated crime by the Chilean military, but the question of U.S. complicity remains yet to be answered,” said Teruggi’s sister, Janis Teruggi Page.
Horman’s widow, meanwhile, expressed hope that the Chilean justice system will focus on other suspected human rights abusers from the Pinochet era.
“I hope this ruling will strengthen prosecutions for these crimes and stop these types of crime,” said Joyce Horman in an interview after he ruling was made public.
“The memories are still very fresh in my mind. It’s been almost 42 years and for a longtime everyone resisted pursuing an investigation as long as possible,” she added.
In the following video below the page break, Joyce talks with journalist Bob Herbert about receiving harassment prior to the coup, reacting to her husband’s disappearance and seeking for justice in the deaths of Teruggi and Horman.
Video Source – YouTube user cunytv75
Online Sources – Fox News Latino; The New York Times