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The BBC's James Reynolds
"Chile had waited for more than a year for the results"
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Monday, 8 January, 2001, 03:33 GMT
Chile hears about military's victims
President Lagos greets Viviana Diaz, president of an organisation of relatives of the disappeared
Lagos greets relatives of the disappeared
By James Reynolds in Santiago

Chilean President Ricardo Lagos has presented the results of a human rights commission designed to reveal the whereabouts of more than a 1,000 people killed during 17 years of military rule and whose bodies have yet to be found.

In a nationwide address, Mr Lagos presented said the commission had come up with information on the fate of 180 people.

The information is raw and painful: burials, clandestine burials, bodies into the sea and Chile's lakes and rivers

President Lagos
The bodies of 130 of these people, he said, had been thrown into the sea, lakes or rivers and would never be recovered. Another 20 are believed to be in a mass grave somewhere in Santiago.

The results of the commission were revealed on the same day that former military leader, Augusto Pinochet, refused to show up for medical tests aimed at working out whether he is fit to stand trial.

Avoiding Pinochet

President Lagos called the information raw and painful. He admitted that it was not enough, that the fate of hundreds of Chile's disappeared is still unknown.

General Pinochet after mass
General Pinochet was driven to mass on Sunday, but hsa failed to attend medical tests
The results of the commission will come as a disappointment to many Chileans.

During his speech, President Lagos was careful to make no mention of General Pinochet.

That is no surprise: over the last year, Mr Lagos has done his best to avoid any reference to the general, saying that the former military leader's fate is a matter for the courts.

And it is to the courts that attention here will now shift; Chileans await the next move in the legal stand-off between General Pinochet and investigating judge, Juan Guzman.

The general is expected to stay away from an interrogation with the judge set for Tuesday.

If the general fails to show up, legal experts here say that Mr Guzman will be entitled to order his arrest.

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See also:

07 Jan 01 | Americas
Pinochet defies court order
26 Dec 00 | Americas
Court delays Pinochet questioning
01 Dec 00 | Americas
Pinochet charged with kidnapping
02 Nov 00 | Americas
Court orders more tests for Pinochet
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